In 2000 a little 6-year girl went “walkabout”  (Aussie indigenous for wandering from place to place), from the yard of her home near Broken Head Northern NSW. She wandered off with her pet dog. Her mother had been in constant voice contact.

The terrain behind her home was dense bush leading into heavy coastal forest. About 4/5 kilometers east was the Broken Head Caravan Park, a small hamlet near the ocean.

The time was late afternoon; conditions were calm and cloudless, then. Little Cherry did not answer her mother’s call. Her mum began calling her from the backyard, Cherry had disappeared. Her pet dog appeared from the bush behind the house, but no little girl.

Frantic calls for assistance to the local Police commenced a protracted search, it’s getting on to very dim light, and it will soon be dark. Members of the Police with a helicopter and sniffer dogs commenced to search behind the property.

Members of the State Emergency Service, The Volunteer Rescue Assn, the Rural Fire Service and some local residents, a total of upwards of 50 people, commenced to conduct a sweep search in dense woodland, in total darkness aided by torches. For several hours they searched to no avail, the search parties are instructed to return at first light with more volunteers.


 © john d farley 2008

 CHEERRIIEE BABY. That’s mummy, “nearly time for tea darling”, yummy.

“Here I’m is out here with doggie wwoolfie”, gee he is a sook.

A butterfly flutters it’s all blue “come on doggie lets take a look”.

Its wings are pretty and it flies out the gate, “won’t be long mummy”


I think I said.


The pretty butterfly.

But it’s gone, it’s gone in the bush, where? We will find it. Mummy will love it, Daddy will smile.

Where’s doggie, where is this place, mummy and Daddy will find me, I’ll just walk, gee the trees are nice.

Can you hear, that’s an Owl, Daddy told me that, it’s dark now Mummy, I want my tea.

I see things really good, wish daddy could be here, that’s a big bird, I want my house, oh here’s the little creek.

Oh very smelly, is that a cow, can I take my shirt off mummy, and I’m really hot. Dogs are barking, dogs are scary; I’ll go this way.

Scared Mommy, lights and noise are coming through the big trees, Daddy why the wind.

All the lights, loud voices, cranky voices. Daddy said.

A voice, a little boy, “go this way”, my tea, Mummy and Daddy. The little boy, “go this way”.

 A little animal, “hello”.

Mummy I’m very tired, can I go to bed, “no Cherry I’ll get you home, you’ll see”. But that’s not Mummy.

It’s really really dark, the little boy is in front of me, he’s only little, he calls to me.

We know.

The naughty sounds, the cranky loud voices, the dogs, I’m not scared now, a long way away. Mummy will find me.


Sounds in the bushes.


“Don’t lie down, come with me, let’s play, can you hear the beach”. The little boy  said.


I want my bed, I’m ready for ‘jammas’, Mummy, look at me, oooh it’s cold.

Daddy said I’m a little girl and always smile, Mummy said I’m pretty. Why is nobody here? Just the little boy.


It’s dark, where’s my home, why is our home got lost.

Little boy, where are you, the light is just in front, it’s like a little home. “Your safe” he said.

Mummy said be nice, if I bang on the door and be nice.


I know what to say; “HELLO I’M CHERRY, I’M GOT LOST”.


Dedicated to little Cherry and her much relieved Mum and Dad, © john d Farley 2008.

PS: The searchers had described a dead cow in a creek, the Police Helicopter, the barking Police dogs, the sounds of men and women calling in loud voices. Cherry described all of these things to her Mummy, she “was scared Mummy”.

Could the ‘little boy’ be an apparition? Have little kids who have ‘wandered’ hidden intentionally to escape the suspected dangers from all of “naughty sounds, the cranky voices, the dogs”. Maybe another “walkabout” can answer this enigma; his name is Stephen Walls, (circa 1978), “Little boy lost”.

“It’s like a little home”, that’s how Cherry described it, in fact it was the caravan residence of an elderly couple located at the Broken Head Van Park. At 5:30 on the following morning imagine their shock at seeing a tiny, scruffy little girl naked as the day she was born, standing outside their door.

“Hello I’am Cherry, I’am got lost” 

Cherry walked out of a very dense littoral forest, she was completely naked. She had, by some calculations, walked 5 kilometers during the night, ALL STOOD DOWN; there was not a dry eye in the town.

Hits: 434