The Star Thrower

Adapted from Loren Eiseley by the Starfish Charity

An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, after a storm, he saw a human figure in the distance moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.

"Young lady," he asked, "Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

"The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die."

"But young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference."

The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying, "It made a difference for that one."

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

Categories: Spirituality


  1. booguloo said on April 15, 2012
    What a Great story.
  2. elleceef said on April 16, 2012
    A lovely story. If we could translate that into people being thrown an anchor, how good it would be.
    1. Terri said on April 16, 2012
      I wish there were "like" buttons for comments! I dream of a day when we spontaneously do that for each other.
  3. granbee said on April 19, 2012
    What a difference one person and one starfish can make!

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