Whilst walking on the beach one day
Along the ocean shore
The old man saw a sight that he
Had never seen before:

Countless starfish swept upon
The golden sandy beach
Left lying dying in the sun
Just out of waters reach

And every wave that washed the shore
Then slowly crept back out
Left behind it many more
Starfish than there were before
Scattered all about

The old man thought oh what a shame
That they'll all surely die
But all the same I'm not to blame
And blissfully walked on by

As more and more were swept ashore
Far too many to save
Lying dying multiplying
With each and every wave

'Til not an inch of sand lay bare
So many there did lie
Starfish, starfish everywhere
Left on the beach to die

Then in the far off distance
A something he could see
That looked to be a small figure
Dancing down by the sea

Which when he walked on closer
In fact turned out to be
That it was a little girl
And he could see that she
Was throwing starfish one by one
Back into the sea

As he drew near he said my dear
"I mean you no offence
But there are far too many here
For you to make a difference

Because for each one that you save
The sea throws back scores more
With every wave to an early grave
Upon the ocean shore

Hence you can't make a difference
To the numbers overall
Which grow faster than you can throw
So why bother at all"?

She thought a while then with a smile
She knelt down on one knee
Picked up another starfish
Threw it in the sea
And said "I doubt it very much
If that one would agree"!

* * *

Written by 
Dee Howell

Dedicated to everyone who makes a difference.

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