When Steve W. set off on an adventure with just a canoe and a head full of summer dreams, he never expected that it would take him on the most fantastic journey of his life. Around the bend on that scenic river, the 50-year-old man discovered, was the dwelling place of creatures that he once regarded as belonging only to the world of storybooks and magic. But now, with his own eyes, he saw that they were real. This is Steve W.'s true story:
On June 24, 2003, I went canoeing in Western Kentucky on the Rough River. I had just wanted to get away for a little rest and relaxation, away from my normally hectic life. I put my canoe in at a nice little portage near the Falls of Rough, just downstream of the falls, which is not too far from Rough River State Park. The current was very fast because of all the recent rainfall. It was really just a typical canoe ride down a very pleasant and scenic river.
I had a very funny, queasy, nervous feeling though. I was inexplicably anxious for some reason. Although I could not define why, I felt like I had something to fear - and I sensed death. Taking these sensations seriously, I was extremely cautious on the river because I didn't want the death to be mine.
After several miles, I paddled the canoe to the riverbank and tied off to a tree. I got out to stretch and to explore the area. I climbed the bank and looked for a smooth, dry spot to pitch my tent. After deciding to camp near the water so I could keep a good eye on the canoe, I went on a little hike. I climbed up the hill and around the bend to a little creek that flowed back into Rough River.
Looking down eight or 10 feet into the creek, I spotted what looked like the top of a clay jar. I instantly recalled a dream in which I found some ancient pots. This recollection sent my imagination running wild with the thought that I might have found some old archaeological artifact.
I started down the bank toward the creek. The bank was extremely slippery with mud and down I went, sliding all the way. My backside and hands were caked with gooey mud, but I stopped just short of the water and very close to the old earthenware pot. It was more like a clay crock and I quickly realized that it probably wasn't very old and that the bottom was probably broken as well.
I poked at it and noticed there were little handprints on it. I figured a raccoon had already searched it, but upon looking more closely saw that these prints were not like a raccoon's; they were more like little human handprints, about an inch wide.
As soon as that thought entered my mind I dismissed it as preposterous. I started pulling on the jar, but it was stuck really well in the mud with suction holding it down like super glue. I figured, well I'm all dirty anyway; I'll just get a stick and pry this thing loose. After working on it for a while, it finally budged.
But when it did, I heard something.
Page Two > The Little People