The Squirrel That Saved Annie
by Jack Stevenson
1. One day while driving a farm tractor cultivating in a field close to [what is called] the Smokey River Valley in southern Logan county of mid-western Kansas it was there that I came upon the biggest surprise of my life. The tractor or farm land or equipment did not belong to me. I was a fill in Operator my son Todd when he needed me, because I had 50 years experience in farming. The Land Lord was my sons father in law. They both knew I always enjoyed running a tractor or a combine ever since my dad thought me when I was just a kid. I was born in 1930s called the Dust Bowl Years and also called the Great Depression This piece of farm land I had never farmed before. It was my first time i had even seen the piece of land that close. It was the last peace of cultivated farm land next to the River and valley, about 300 feet below. So it was a new adventure for me. The view, and scenery, of the [Smokey River valley) was very fantastic that early spring day. Just to look at the river valley with trees of all shapes and sizes, cattle grazing the grass land approaching three-hundred feet below the ground I was to farm. I could see a long view both up and down the valley which gave me more pleasure. The first round around the field in the tractor, you had to be sure to stay within the legal bounders and not to hit the fence post with the implement the tractor was pulling to cultivate the ground, or you would have some major problems. The second time around the field my eyes where more free to notice my surroundings and able to observe the scenery I had never seen. What a pleasure it was to see. While going the second time around the field I noticed the sweeps of the implement was bringing up odd looking pieces of rock to the surface in a small given area, and the third round at the same location I had seen a few sparkles of sun glitters glittering off of small objects where the small rocks were laying. At this point I decided to stop the tractor and investigate. I guess I did this because when I was a young boy, I always did like to explore things and the countryside. Crawling down off the tractor I began to walk around looking at some the different shaped rocks and pieces of broken glass which helped me decide why I was seeing sparkles from the sun rays. Thats when I began to realize there used to be a old rock house or an early day homestead, or old early day School House, located there. It was normal during the early days of homesteaders to use chock rocks to build their homes because it was easy to find along the Smoky Hill River. They could cut and shape the size of the rock they needed. Also in the early Homestead Days, their was wagon trail known as the Butterfield Overland Trail which also was used by the cavalry to reach the Forts which protected armed soldiers and civilians from Indians.