The Tale Of The starfish


A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,

Well, I made a difference for that one!

The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved. 

adapted from "The Star Thrower" by Loren C. Eiseley

"The Star Thrower" from THE UNEXPECTED UNIVERSE by Loren Eiseley. Copyright © 1968 by Loren Eiseley and renewed 1996 by John A. Eichman, III. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.