Starfish Story

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The "Starfish Story" is part of a 16-page essay called "The Star Thrower" by Loren Eiseley (1907–1977), published in 1969 in The Unexpected Universe. The Star Thrower is also the title of a 1978 anthology of Eiseley's works (including the essay), which he completed shortly before his death. The story distills into a beautiful little sentiment about making a difference one piece at a time.

Starfish Story

An old man was walking the beach one morning after a big storm. In the distance he could see someone moving like a dancer. As he came closer, he could see that it was a young girl picking up starfish and gentle throwing them into the ocean.

"Young lady, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

"The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do now throw them in they will die." she said.

"But young lady, do you not realize that there are many miles of beach, and tens of thousands of starfish? You cannot possibly make a Difference."

The young girl listed politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the sea.

"It made a difference for that one."

Starfish story