The Starfish Story

Adapted from The Star Thrower

By Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, “Good Morning! What are you doing?” The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the ocean, past the breaking waves and said,

“It made a difference for that one.”

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The starfish is the logo for:

The Village Foundation, LJP
3620 N. Rancho Dr., Ste. 116, Las Vegas, NV 89130
(702) 970-8455
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