You have often read of the ski, the snowshoe used by the Norwegians and other people living in the far north. With the men and women glide down the snow-covered mountain sides, leap across ditches, run races and have all kinds of sport. They are just as amusing to the American boy who has ever learned to manipulate them, and it is wonderful how much skill can be attained in their use. Any boy with a little mechanical ingenuity can make a pair of skis (pronounced skees). They can be made from two barrel staves. Select staves of straight grained wood. Sharpen the ends of each and score each end by cutting grooves in the wood, as shown in the cut, Fig. 7. A pocket knife or small gouge will suffice for this work. Then smear the end of the staves with oil and hold them close to a hot fire until they can be bent so as to tip the toes upward, as shown in the picture, Fig. 7. Then with a cord bind the staves as they are bent and permit them to remain thus tied until they retain the curved form of their own accord. Now screw on top of each ski a little block, just broad and high enough to fit in front of the heels of your shoe. Fasten a strap in front of each block through which to slip your toes, and the skis are made. The inside of the shoe heel should press firmly against the block and the toe be held tightly under the strap. This will keep the skis on your feet. Now procure a stick with which to steer and hunt a snow bank. At first you will afford more amusement to onlookers than to yourself, for the skis have a way of trying to run in opposite directions, crosswise and various ways, but with practice you will soon become expert in their manipulation.
Illustration: Home-Made Skis