PRAY FOR RAIN FOR WAYNE: Girl's gift brings farmer to tears
LOOKING out the window of her Dad's ute as they passed dry, dusty paddocks, Heidi Death intoned a special chant.
"Pray for rain for Wayne," she recited under her breath over and over again.
When they finally reached their destination, seven-year-old Heidi had mastered the tongue-twister devoted to a farmer she had never met.
The day before, Heidi and her dad spent four hours driving around on a mission to find enough hay to fill the back of their ute.
Heartbroken at the thought of people and animals suffering in drought, Heidi decided she wanted to make a difference.
But it was only when they turned up at Wayne Cottee's property with a tray full of hay, they found out who they would be helping and the full impact it would have.
"I couldn't believe it, it is incredible," MrCottee said.
When Heidi's family put a call out on social media offering help to farmers, MrCottee's relatives responded.
Touched and taken by surprise by the young girl's generosity, MrCottee thanked Heidi and her family for their gift.
"To think that someone takes the time to do something like that, and from so far away!" he gushed.
Having recently lost one of his cows to malnutrition, the act of kindness could not have come at a more crucial time for the Warwick-based mechanic and farmer.
Mr Cottee said his wife's entire salary was going towards buying hay to sustain their cattle and sheep.
"And she's still not earning enough.
"We are concerned in a big way about being able to source hay in the future, so every little bit helps out," MrCottee said.
Seeing first-hand the conditions faced by MrCottee and other farmers in our region was eye-opening for the young family of four.
"We are amazed at how bad it is out here. "It's unbelievable," Heidi's father, Scott, said.
"Just sending some money off to a charity really wouldn't mean that much to a seven-year-old, but this way she gets to see what it is like and where her donation is going."
But in the midst of drought, there was still a chance for happiness and smiles.
Holding one of MrCottee's young lambs in her arms, Heidi's face lit up with joy.
"All week she has been so excited about doing this.
"She really just wanted to help," Scott said.
Unloading the hay, MrCottee had a tear in his eye.
"It really does give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside."