Babies on the River Bank…

One warm summer afternoon, a group of five friends gathered around a fire on the banks of a small river in the woods. They had just made prayer and were now sprawled on the grass or sitting on logs, they drank cool shabazz punch and had a light bean pie desert after dinner of grilled halal lamb, chatting amidst the sounds of rushing water, birdcalls, and the buzz of crickets. Suddenly, one of them stood up with a cry.

Dropping her shabazz punch, she skidded down the muddy bank into the river. The rest of them watched, bemused, as she waded in up to her waist, grabbed something floating there, and carried it back to them. As she came out of the water, the others heard something crying. “Ya Allah!” one of them said. She held a baby in her hands. “It was drowning,” the woman with the baby said, “I don’t know if it’s okay.”

Then someone else in the group shouted, “There’s another one!” He rushed down into the water as well, followed by the others. As they waded in to get the second baby, one of them happened to look up the river. “Oh no,” she said. As far up as she could see, babies struggled in the water. The group began frantically rushing in and out of the river, trying to catch the babies as they went by. At first they managed to get all of them before they went by, but after a while they started getting tired. Babies started getting by them. They saw some babies go under without coming back up.

Crying and shaking from the cold river water, they couldn’t stop. The riverbank became littered with more and more babies, some crawling around, others not moving. But there wasn’t time to check on them. There were always more in the water. Finally one of the rescuers (who happened to be a CWSC volunteer) stopped. She stood for a moment, thinking, and then she took off running up the river, away from the group. “Come back!” cried one of her friends. “What are you doing?” yelled another as he struggled toward the bank with a baby in both arms. “I’m going to find out who’s throwing all these babies in the river,” she shouted back, and she frantically ran.”

If you want to know the ending to this story email us. QUESTION: So Who or What are the babies in this story?

Can you imagine getting up in the morning to go exercise, or to go to work or graduate school, or to open your store for business, etc….either way, you’re headed out to handle your business, and you open your front door and look down, and there is a baby someone has left on your doorstep with or without a note! Place yourself at the doorstep or on the Riverbank and then register in the Model Communities National Resource Directory (MCNRD).


[Babies in the River is adapted from Collective Action for Social Change: An Introduction to Community Organizing by Aaron Schutz and Marie G. Sandy…]