My name is Linda Kirkpatrick and I wrote a poem about the Indian Massacre of a McLaurin family around Leakey Texas in 1882. I first heard the story of the McLaurin Indian Raid when I was 6 years old. I was raised on a ranch 14 miles north of Leakey, Texas on highway 336 and just a few miles from where the McLaurin family lived in the late 1800’s. There was an old cowboy from a neighboring ranch that would ride over on horse back about once a month to visit and get a good meal. I always liked to read and be read to, so on one of his trips he brought an old book that was just full of short stories about Texas; but the one story that I wanted read over and over was the story of the McLaurin family. As I got older, I joined a Girl Scout troop. Miss Sallye Godbold came to talk to our troop one-day and the story that she told was the story of the McLaurins but she took it one step further. She had been a small child on the day the bodies of Kate McLaurin and Allen Lease were brought by wagon to Leakey for burial. I was so excited to have been able to touch someone who had been there! Time rocked along and I told the story many times over the years. Then two years ago a friend of mine and I were talking about writing, etc. His name is Frank Roberts and he is the Interpretive Ranger at Garner State Park. He wanted to do a program on the cowboy and bring in local history as well. So he challenged me to write a poem about the raid. Well, I kicked the idea around for several months and just couldn’t get a starting place. Then one day Frank called and since we were going to start our program in about a month he wanted to know how my poem was coming along. I said, “Great!” and actually I hadn’t written a line. I then loaded myself up and went to the site and it was there that the poem took shape and in two days I had it finished. It has been well received but there has been a few objections from Native Americans. I understand their thoughts, as I too am part Native American, however in telling stories of the past it is sometimes hard to tell the stories as they happened and keep the dignity of all people involved. Then as my group, “The Cowboy Sunset Serenade”, was preparing to go to Lubbock, Texas to the National Cowboy Symposium, we found the story of the McLaurin Raid had been published on the Internet, on the McLaurin Homepage by Jesse McLaurin. I contacted the author of the story, Hilton McLaurin of Lubbock and he came to the Symposium and sat in the audience while I recited the poem. I was thrilled beyond words!!!! I am very lucky to live in this area. The setting of the attack is on the Frio River between two towering rock cliffs. It is a beautiful setting and one can understand why John and Kate McLaurin chose this spot for their home. As I tell everyone who attends our programs, I like to emphasize the pioneer woman and women of the west. There are three women who are important to this poem. The first is not mentioned in the poem but without her this story would never be known. She is the Lipan-Apache maiden who kept the braves from killing Maude. The second is 6 year old Maude McLaurin. It is so hard to imagine the distance and the responsibility that this little girl showed on that fateful day. The third is Kate. Women like Kate are the backbone of the west. They gave their love and life for their families and the settling of the west. So with all this in mind, please enjoy my poem.