The Foundling


Once upon a time there was a city that was full of all kinds of different people. People looked different, spoke different languages, ate different food, and had different religions.

There were… Muslims from Africa, Christians from India, Muslims from India, Christians from Africa, French-speakers from Canada, English-speakers from Australia, Jews from America, Hindus from Bali, Buddhists from Thailand, Buddhists from Japan, Buddhists from Sri Lanka, Hindus from Sri Lanka, Sikhs from the Punjab in Pakistan and Sikhs from the Punjab in India. There were Brazilians, Bolivians and Bangladeshis. There were Russians, Romanians, and Rwandans. There were tall and short and blond and black and blue and brown-eyed people from China and Chad and the Czech Republic. In fact if you can think of a people, or a country, or a religion or anything else a person could be, you would probably find someone like that in this city.

It could all get very confusing. Unless you didn’t worry about it too much and tried to treat everyone as just another human being - and if you did that, it was fine, so that’s what most people did, most of the time.

One very important law in this city said that you had to treat everyone equally. So in hospitals and schools, for example, the doctors, nurses and teachers knew this law, and no discrimination between different kinds of people was allowed.

One day, one of the doctors, arriving to start work, made a strange discovery. As she walked up the steps into the hospital, she noticed a basket next to the door. She wondered who had left it there and why, but it was time for her to start work and so she didn’t want to stop and investigate… until she heard a sound.

The sound seemed to be coming from the basket. The doctor walked over and bent down closer to listen. There was the same sound again: the voice of a baby. The baby was wrapped up warm and very clean. Whoever left the baby there had wanted it to be comfortable. The nurse looked up and down but there was no-one around who could be its parent. So she picked up the basket and took it inside. Then she noticed a note in the basket, saying: ‘Please look after this baby because I will never be able to.’ Maybe the person who wrote the note would change their mind, she thought, and come back.

Task Questions

  • Which of the 4 opinons do you think is right? why?
  • Do you think the hospital has the right rules about sending children to live with new families?

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