These are the unsung cowboy scientists. Forgotten pioneers, not only of the wild west but also of the wild frontier of systematic study through experimentation and observation.

Look over yonder, if you will. That there's Cassidy Rose. See how she carefully places that atom on the dirt. Now she removes a miniature saloon from her satchel. What in tarnation? She kneels upon the dirt, one eye squinting against a window at one end of the pint-sized building, the tiny saloon doors at the other end flapping open directly above the atom.

Well I'll be a calf's cousin. Cass has just used the world's first microscope. Amazin'.

May I direct your attention to Leonard Jaycrabs? This tall fella made a name fer himself by roping all manner of livestock. As we catch up with him, he's swinging that trusty lasso and eyeing up a new sort of target.

Watch the rope spin, a perfect circle of blurred movement whispering above a callused hand that barely seems to move at all. Now the barest flick of a wrist. A tug. Before your eyes can follow it's done.

Ol' Leonard has rustled himself up an amoeba. The world will never be the same.

Now we move on to Cromples McMaw, heir of the Bad Fake Name fortune which turns out to be a dusty pile of index cards with bad fake names.

Cromples leans over a shallow stream to slake his thirst. He observes his reflection in the gently whirling water - the first time a human sees itself in history.

Cromples stumbles backwards with a hoot of surprise. For the next three hours he throws rocks at the water, aiming to kill the stranger under the water that startled him.

We leave Cromples and look some three hundred miles north, where Hattie Clintock emerges from a cave. Something above catches her eye. She glances up. Stars. Unable to comprehend these mysterious bright objects, Hattie lets loose a wordless scream of denial and anger.

Believing the stars to be insects, she pulls out her six-shooters and fires wildly into the night sky.

Now we turn to our next scientist, Trevor Plankhands. Leading a frightened burro, Trevor navigates a rocky trail to the site of a lightning strike. What he observes is nothing short of world-changing.

A tree has been toppled by the lightning. The branches are consumed by a strange reddish-orange substance that dances and produces whorls of smoke.

Hooting excitedly, Trevor reaches out to touch the mysterious substance. He quickly pulls his hand back. Hurt! It hurt skin bad!

Trevor thumps his chest in a false show of strength. This is humanity's first encounter with fire.

Finally we join Clem Entine in the Dodge Falls tumbleweed pits.

After a hard day of tumbleweed clearing, Clem looks down and hoots softly. She has uncovered something unexpected. Half-buried, the object appears to be a leg bone. But it's much larger than that of any animal she's seen before.

It's a dinosaur fossil.

A nearby male hoots and reaches for the bone. Thinking quickly, Clem bares her teeth at the male and hisses. He scurries off with a series of complaining shrieks.

Clem holds the fossil before her face, scratching her head pensively. She takes a few tentative bites. Hmm. If only she had a tiny saloon to study this specimen further...

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell (@DennisFarrell)

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