The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley – Inspirational Story

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 9 – 22nd September 2005

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  This is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

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In Cairns

I will be in Cairns 6 – 14 October, if anyone wants to catch up.  Unfortunately I won’t be conducting a PD but if you would like to discuss any aspects of the program with me or have me demonstrate one of the tracks, then please call me on 0410 642 781.  Happy to help or just meet you.

Inspirational Message of the Week

“What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Inspirational Story

This story has been doing the rounds for some time now.  It was used again recently in “The Maverick Spirit” because it is so special and thought-provoking.  I thought I’d share it with you, as you go off on your end of term holiday, to reflect on the difference you have made to one special child in your class.  You may not even be aware you have had such an effect.

Here is the story of the Starfish adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley 1907-1977

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.  He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer.  He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all.  The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile?  You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean.  As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”

So, can I encourage you to take the time to do something that will make a difference to someone else’s life….and it doesn’t have to be much and they don’t need to know.  Just take a moment, do something special….the universe will know and that is enough. 12th May 2005

Entertainment – Wise Old Man

A wise old gentleman retired and purchased a modest home near a primary school.  He spent the first few weeks of his retirement in peace and contentment.  Then a new school year began.  The very next afternoon three young boys, full of youthful, after-school enthusiasm, came down his street, beating merrily on every garbage can they encountered.  The crashing percussion continued day after day, until finally the wise old man decided it was time to take some action.

The next afternoon, he walked out to meet the young percussionists as they banged their way down the street.  Stopping them, he said, “You kids are a lot of fun.  I like to see you express your exuberance like that.  In fact, I used to do the same thing when I was your age.  Will you do me a favour?  I’ll give you each a dollar if you promise to come around every day and do your thing.”  The kids were elated and continued to do a bang-up job on the garbage cans.

After a few days, the old-timer greeted the kids again, but this time he had a sad smile on his face.  “This recession’s really putting a big dent in my income,” he told them.  “From now on, I’ll only be able to pay you 50 cents to beat on the cans.”

The noisemakers ere obviously displeased, but they did accept his offer and continued their afternoon ruckus.  A few days later, the wily retiree approached them again as they drummed their way down the street.

“Look,” he said, “I haven’t received my pension cheque yet, so I’m not going to be able to give you more than 20 cents.  Will that be okay?”

“A lousy twenty cents?” the drum leader exclaimed.  “If you think we’re going to waste our time, beating these cans around for that, you’re nuts!  No way, mister, we quit!”  And the old man enjoyed peace and serenity for the rest of his days.

from Winston Marsh’s August Newsbrief

More Entertainment

A father was at the beach with his grandchildren when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand.

“Daddy, what happened to him?” the son asked.

“He died and went to Heaven,” the Dad replied.

The boy thought a moment and then said, “Did God throw him back down?”


“A great presentation, most useful.”  Bev Ross, kindergarten teacher, Melbourne

“Love the ideas for making the resources ‘hoops, ribbons and tapping sticks.” Cleonie Boyd, Geraldton

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she has taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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