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The Starfish Story

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    The Starfish Story

    Came across this story in some old papers . .does anyone know who the author is?


    There was a woman who lived by the ocean and each morning it was her habit to rise early and enjoy the cool morning air. One morning, she noticed a lone figure some distance down the beach. The figure was picking up objects and throwing them, one by one, into the pounding surf.

    The woman was curious and she wondered to herself: who is that person, and what are they doing out there all alone? The next morning the woman looked out toward the beach and, sure enough, the lone figure was back.

    After a few mornings like this, the woman's curiousity got the better of her and she left her balcony and walked down to the beach. As she approached the mysterious figure, she saw that it was a young woman. As she had been each morning that week, she was picking objects up off the beach and throwing them into the ocean waves.

    By now the woman had almost reached the stranger and to her surprise saw that the objects of her attention were starfish. Starfish that had been carried onto the beach by the action of the waves and, as the tide went out, had become stranded. How unusual, thought the woman, I must ask her why she is doing that.

    "Good morning," she said. "Good morning," came the reply. "I hope you don't mind, but I've been watching you all week and I just had to come down and ask you what you're doing." "These starfish are stranded and I'm throwing them back so that they don't dry out and die, " the younger woman answered. "But there are dozens of starfish out here," the woman protested. "And this beach is miles long - you can't possibly make a difference to them."

    The younger woman said nothing but simply stooped and picked up a large starfish that was lying right next to the older woman's feet. She then ran toward the hissing waves and, with all her might, threw the stranded starfish back into the sea.

    Returning to the spot whre the older woman stood, she looked into her eyes and said: "Well, I just made a difference to THAT starfish didn't I?" Then she smiled and ran off to where another starfish lay waiting in the early morning sun.

    do u picture your self as being the women throughing fishes in water !! ( if i were there , i would b collecting them 4 lunch )


      Hey I remember this story, the Christian Drama club at our school did a Play on it. Don't remember the name of the author though!


        I think the author is Loren E. Eiseley.



          One thing is for sure, I did not write this stroy. Keep searching!


            Its a great story and I do recall reading it but I don't remeber the name of the author. If its any help I think enigma is right.



              Enigma is absolutely right.

              The original author of this story is the anthropologist Loren E. Eiseley. The original story (your version does not seem to be the original one) can be found in her book "The Star Thrower".

              You can also find the same story quoted in another book by the same author. The name of that book is "The Unexpected Universe".

              [This message has been edited by Tariq Khan (edited 08-18-98).]
              The prince who is otherwise known as TLK