Safe and sound ... David Hannon and partner Rochelle Willis holding 22-month-old Makybe
WITH a name like Makybe it's no wonder this little angel is so fast on her feet.
Just 22 months old, barefoot and dressed in only a nappy and singlet, Makybe Hannon somehow survived an amazing night in the wilderness after wandering off from her grandparents' home on the Mid-North Coast, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Through dense bush and treacherously steep terrain, the toddler - named after Melbourne Cup heroine Makybe Diva - managed to walk almost 3km, much of it uphill, before she was found on a neighbouring property almost 20 hours after her disappearance.
Her parents were preparing for the worst yesterday morning - but praying to find their little girl alive. Their prayers were answered when Makybe emerged exhausted but with hardly a scratch to show for her unexpected adventure.
"She came up and put her arms around me and was saying over and over: 'Mummy, Mummy, Mummy'," mum Rochelle Willis said after being reunited with her daughter.
"People keep telling me she's lived up to her name. She's a stayer."
Her father Dave Hannon, a former jockey, added: "She's named after a champion and she's a champion too."
After Makybe wandered from her grandparents home near Wingham about 3.30pm on Thursday, she trekked alone and in the dark through the hills above.
Her family endured an agonisingly sleepless night, trying to find their girl.
A full-scale search resumed at first light yesterday, but it wasn't until 11.30am that the good news came through. Farmer David Summerville had been driving through the area searching for what he feared would be "a little body".
Then, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a small track worn through the long grass, and a small child wearing a nappy and singlet standing there, looking towards him.
Mr Summerville jumped out of his car, and gently picked up the little girl.
"She was crying for her mother, but I had a dog in the truck with me, so she started playing with it and she was fine," Mr Summerville said.
With Makybe safely in his vehicle, the farmer drove just metres along the road to the home of Gwen Butler, where they called police.
A short time later the toddler was reunited with her relieved parents.
"They said 'Don't go over and shock her, act normally'," Mr Hannon said.
"But I couldn't help myself. I ran over to her straight away and grabbed her. That did it - we were all crying."
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