The smallest thing can pique your interest and brighten your day, even a rock. It’s true. A rock can create interest that makes you investigate its origin. That’s what happened to me on a recent stop at Big Mike’s Dairy Dine in Austina. When I stepped out of my vehicle, I noticed a painted rock leaning against the wall next to the entrance.

The rock was painted with a colorful scene of Snoopy and his pal Woodstock setting next to a campfire roasting marshmallows. I smiled, picked it up and peered closer at its message. It was artistically designed on the front and had a message on the back. It read, “Keep me, rehide me, and post on Facebook page Indiana, Pa. Rocks.

Nope, it wasn’t just an ordinary rock; it was a tiny piece of artwork. I snapped a photo of before placing it back in its spot and going inside. When I was inside, a discussion developed and one of the guys looked it up on his cell phone and told us what was on the Facebook page.

It had photos of numerous painted rocks including the one beside the door. There was a photo of it and the person who painted and placed it there, along with several more rocks around the local area.

When I arrived home I posted it on the Facebook page and got a response from the stone painter and placer along with many who follow the site. Many of them are local members of the Facebook group, Indiana, Pa. Rocks. The members have joined a national movement that give a low-cost way to spread joy with acts of kindness to people in the community and surrounding areas.

Members of the group leave painted rocks — with artwork or inspirational phrases — in places for people to find. Others will find your rock and smile, the group says.

Those who find rocks may keep or hide the rocks again for others to find.

People who find rocks are encouraged to post photos on Facebook and spread the joy so that others may follow the rocks they have hidden.

“Hopefully, we can follow our rocks but accept some will live a mysterious life and we’ll never know what happens to them again,” the page says.

The group has tips on the page for painting rocks for those who want to join in.

Locally, rocks have been found at the mall, area parks, outside local restaurants and more.

So if you’re looking for something new to do, maybe you could join the chain of those who enjoy this generously compassionate local art project. Who knows? Maybe you can create your own and sell them online. Look how the ingenious idea of selling pet rocks back in 1975 took off and creator Gary Dahl unloaded more than five million of the igneous invertebrates in six months.

Oh yeah ... be on the lookout as I hid the Snoopy rock again in another community.

David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.