John D. Farley

Rookie (18/08/39 / AUSTRALIA)

Little Baby Cherry - Poem by John D. Farley


In 2000 a little 6 year girl went “walkabout” 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 8 / 9 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 mothers call. Her mum began calling her from the back yard, 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, 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.

At 5: 30am the following morning an elderly couple from the caravan park were alerted to a tiny knock on their caravan door, a tiny girl, completely naked, greets them; “HELLO, I’M CHERRY, AND I’M LOST”.


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.

It’s wings are pretty and it flies out the gate, “wont 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, mommy 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 Mommy, 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, 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 comes up, “hello”.

Mummy I’m very tired, can I go to bed, “no Cherry I will 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.

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.

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.

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

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

Dedicated to little Cherry and her very relived Mum and Dad, john d Farley 2008.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 17, 2008

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