The Floating Babies.
Once upon a time a woman who was doing her laundry in the river saw a baby’s body floating past.
Wading out into the stream she was amazed to find the baby was still alive.
She took the baby home, cared for it and, since no-one came to claim it, she brought it up as her own.
A few months later, another woman, doing her laundry in the river, had the same experience. Her response was the same.
Over the next few years, every couple of months women found floating babies in the river, rescued them and brought them up as their own.
After a few years, every family in the village had extra family members. And the babies continued to float down. Indeed now there seemed to be one every month.
The village had a community meeting. They decided to build a Floating Babies Home to care for the babies. Over the next few years the home became a model for excellence in welfare.
About 15 years after the first baby had floated downstream, someone in the community suggested that, since the babies kept floating down, perhaps someone should go upstream and find out why.
The village had a community meeting. Voices were raised in protest at the idea of the upstream trip. As everyone knew, no-one had ever gone upstream. It was dangerous. There were dragons.
Finally, three brave souls set out. There were no dragons. Instead, not far upstream they came upon a tiny valley. It was ringed by steep cliffs and the only entrances were where the river entered on one side and left on the other.
In the valley they find a crowded and cramped community. And they heard how, as population had increased, the village had, about fifteen years ago, decided with much pain and sadness to control population by committing many of the newborn children to the river.
The people from downstream told them how they had rescued their children. The community were overjoyed.
And then they began to wonder about their other problems.
The visitors had shown that there was a way into their community.
If there was a way in, there must be a way out.