Little Pink Dress
Young Beth sat in the dirt in front of her family's house. She
was idly drawing patterns in the dirt with her chubby small
fingers. She was very bored. Her mummy was sick and was having a
sleep so Beth had to be very quiet her eldest sister had said so.
Beth's short brown hair wasn't braided like it normally was
because Mary, who usually looked after her hair, was too busy
making breakfast. Letting out a bored sighed Beth noticed her
daddy walking over to his saddled horse. She knew he was going to
check on the fences because of the storm from the night before.
Looking behind her she made sure mummy was still asleep and her
sisters were still busy. Knowing she'd be very bored if she
stayed Beth decided to go for a ride with her daddy.
Scrambling to her feet she careful dusted off her favourite pink
dress and started to walk over to the big brown horse her daddy
was sitting on. She become aware of her daddy turning his horse
towards the paddock he was heading towards so she broke into a
run. But her daddy hadn't noticed her and urged his mount into an
easy trot. Beth went to call out but some dust blew up her nose
making her pause to sneeze. By the time she was ready to call out
her daddy had left.
Pouting in annoyance Beth decided to follow her daddy until he
notices her or stopped so she could catch up. With her mind made
up the young toddler started forward, following her oblivious
father into the large Australian bush.
As Beth stumbled along behind her daddy she failed to notice how
far behind she was falling. She was too busy staring at her
surroundings with wide innocent eyes. The white barked trees
seemed so tall; it was as if they didn't stop. The hard uneven
ground beneath her bare feet made it difficult to walk and the
soles of her feet felt sore. Making the decision to have a rest
she dropped to the ground and lent back against a warm rock.
The sun had risen quite a bit since she'd set out and the sounds
of birds and small scurrying creatures had become more obvious.
Trailing her hand along the smooth white bark of the tree near
her, her attention was caught by a trail of small black hands
steadily making their way up towards a small hole in the trunk.
Beth giggled as she placed her finger in their path and watched
them scamper to the sides. But that got boring after a while and
she once again stood up to follow her daddy.
Again making sure her special pink dress wasn't too dusty she
searched between the spaced white gums, rocks and scraggly bushes
for a sign of her daddy and his horse. When she found nothing her
naïve young brain begun to signal that she was lost and in
danger. Beth couldn't count the amounts of time her mummy and
daddy had told her to never wonder into the bush alone. But she
hadn't been alone; she'd been with daddy she reasoned.
Feeling her fear creeping up onto her she turned and started back
downhill, in the direction of her home, or at least she thought
it was. As the fun neared the middle of the sky Beth's tummy was
grumbling a lot and sending her sharp painful messages of hunger.
She was also feeling a little light headed and really thirsty.
Hearing the faint sound of running water Beth changed direction
to try and find it.
As she dragged her aching feet, bruised feet along the dry
unforgiving ground their hairs on her arm started to stand up.
Stopping to scan her surroundings she felt the hairs on the back
of her neck prickle before the terrifying sound of a deadly hiss
reached her ears. Her small body trembled as she whimpered in
fear. Her eyes darted around trying to find the source of the
She gasped and felt her young heart spike in terror. A meter long
brown snake lay curled on a flat rock not thirty centimetres from
where Beth stood shaking. Her youthful face was pale and her blue
eyes were wide with fright. Beth clearly remembered all the
horror stories the creature in front of her involved. So, doing
what she normally did when frightened Beth sprinted forward
bushing scratching branches out of her way as she tripped over
little sharp rocks.
Panic had taken over and her surroundings tunnelled until all she
could see was the obstacle in front of her. Her mind numbly
noticed the area in front of her clearing just as the ground
disappeared from under her. With an alarmed scream Beth dropped
through the air at a rapid pace. Then everything went black.
As dinner drew closer ten-year-old Mary went out to greet her
returning father. She paused in confusion when she noticed that
her youngest sibling Elizabeth was not with him. Beth had been
missing all day but they had just shrugged it off saying their
father had taken her with him like he sometimes did. But with him
returning empty-handed Mary felt uneasiness wash over her.
She ran over to her father and rapidly asked him where Beth was.
He looked at her in confusion and replied with "At the house."
Finding it difficult to breath Mary turned and sprinted back
inside to find her older sister and two brothers sitting around
the table eating dinner. She quickly informed them of the problem
and they all jumped to their feet and rushed outside.
For the next year the searched for an hour everyday for their
lost sibling, never giving up hope. They asked neighbours and
passing Aboriginals to keep an eye out for a little white girl.
But everyday they came up with the same result. Nothing. Until
almost a year later a group of Aboriginals arrived on the
property with news. But only the mother and children were at home
and she refused to come outside to talk with them without her
husband present. So the Aboriginals waited at the bottom of the
property for the husband to arrive back from a two weeklong
When he finally arrived the family heard the hope crushing news.
They had found Beth's body at the bottom of a cliff about three
hours from the property clothed in her little pink dress.
This is based on a true story. A young girl named Elizabeth
went missing in the Suggan Buggan area of the Alpine Rangers in
the 1800's. A year later passing Aboriginals found her body and
they then waited two weeks to inform the family because the
mother wanted her husband present. Elizabeth was wearing a little