A SINGLE STARFISH
The beach lay littered with starfish
The tide was running out
Receding was the water
They could not live without.
A hundred thousand starfish
Like stars in the sky at night
Lay beached on terra firma
Unable to put up a fight.
Each one would die by the evening
When the sea came rushing in.
Theirs' was a hopeless battle,
One that they could not win.
Then I saw a stranger walking
Along the sandy beach,
Passing the dying starfish
Lying within his reach.
I saw him bend and take one
Hurling it into the sea.
I saw him bend and throw one,
And then throw two and three.
And still around him lying
Were the thousands still close to death.
What difference was he making?
He should have saved his breath.
'Why save a single starfish
When so many are left to die?'
I asked as the man drew nearer
And I managed to catch his eye.
'You can't make a bit of difference,
The dying will still go on!
You simply can't keep throwing
Until every one has gone!
There's not a chance that you'll prevent
The inevitable slaughter!'
Yet still he bent and still he threw
Starfish into the water!
I laughed unkindly at his deed
'Why don't you just ignore them!
Do think a single starfish here
Will know what you're doing for them?'
Then, he said, as he bent to a starfish
And readied himself for a throw
'The world wont know the difference,
But, believe me, THIS starfish will know!'