The Starfish Story; Cat Rescuer’s Version
(Traditional: There are innumerable versions of L Eiseley’s “The Star Thrower”on the web set on beaches all over the world. This cat lovers’ version was found in a cat shelter newsletter in 1993 and on Usenet and is about “making a bigger difference”.)
A traveler was walking along a beach when he saw a woman scooping up starfish off the sand and tossing them into the waves. Curious, he asked her what she was doing. The woman replied “When the tide goes out it leaves these starfish stranded on the beach. They will dry up and die before the tide comes back in, so I am throwing them back into the sea where they can live.”
The traveler then asked her “But this beach is miles long and there are hundreds of stranded starfish, many will die before you reach them – do you really think throwing back a few starfish is really going to make a difference?”
The woman picked up a starfish and looked at it, then she threw it into the waves. “It makes a difference to this one” she said.
Considering this, the traveller continued his walk along the beach. After a while he arrived at a place where a river ran into the sea and he turned back inland, walking alongside the river. He was still pondering the words of the starfish woman when he noticed a group of people wading about in the river trying to catch floating objects and throwing them safely onto the river bank. When he got closer he saw that the people were rescuing kitties which were struggling in the water and floating downstream towards the sea. Though many of the kitties were thrown to safety, many others were washed out to sea, never to be seen again.
The traveler thought about this and thought about what starfish-woman had told him. He knew that it made a difference to every kitty saved. He also knew that he could not stop the sea from washing up starfish, but he knew that there was a way to make a bigger difference to all the kitties being washed away in the river so he called out to the people who were fishing out kitties. “Why don’t some of you go upstream and stop people tossing them into the river in the first place?”.
The traveler had learned an important lesson from starfish woman. When you face impossible odds you do the best you can and helping just one or two creatures. But he also had the wisdom to know that sometimes you can make a bigger difference. And this is the moral of the starfish woman story: sometimes you have to do whatever you can, however little it seems; but sometimes you have the chance to make a bigger difference. You just need a little wisdom to see when you have a chance to make that bigger difference.
And this is what rescuing animals is about. Sometimes you have to do the best you can and treasure every life saved. But sometimes you get a chance to make a bigger difference and instead of making a difference to just one, you can make a difference to many.
Please Be A Part of the Solution: Spay – Neuter – Adopt!
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.