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Help One Bird at a Time

By Chloe Redon

If you volunteer for an animal rescue like Mickaboo long enough, it’s easy to have days when you feel overwhelmed by the task at hand; when you feel like we’re taking in birds faster than we’re adopting them out; when you worry about where our next foster home will come from; when you agonize about how you’re going to pay the next vet bill; and certainly when you’re affected by the sad stories that come across our online message board every day.

Fortunately, we also praise our successes and find the emotional energy to move forward and keep doing what we’re doing. If you’re finding yourself feeling sad and discouraged, here is a little reminder that what we (and YOU) do DOES make a difference – one bird at a time.

The Starfish Thrower

adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley

A traveler was walking for miles along a white sandy beach when he saw a figure moving on the beach like a dancer. It was a woman far off, walking toward him. As she approached he saw that she was bending down to sift through the debris left by the night’s tide, stopping now and then to pick up a starfish and toss it gently into the ocean. He watched as she worked diligently, scooping up starfish and, one-by-one, throwing them back into the sea.

After an extended time and curious, the traveler asked, “What are you doing with the starfish?” She replied, “The tide has washed the starfish onto the beach and left them stranded. As the sun rises, they will dry up and die before the tide returns. So I’m throwing them back into the sea to save them.”

Looking up and down at the vast expanse of beach, starfish littering the shore by the thousands, the traveler said, “But there are more starfish than you can ever save before the sun is up.  Do you really think that throwing the starfish into the ocean is going to make a difference?” The woman smiled at the man. Then she picked up another starfish, looked at it, and flung it far off over the breaking waves, into the sea. She turned to the man and said, “It makes a difference to that one.”