|The Lonely Starfish|
|In a sheltered pool of water, amidst the rocks at the ocean's edge, there lived a little starfish named Stanley. The water was always warm and salty where Stanley lived and his home made him very happy.
During the day, Stanley played in sand that glittered and sparkled in the warm sunshine. At night, after the sun slipped over the horizon, Stanley would snuggle up next to his favourite rock and fall fast asleep.
Then one day, Stanley noticed that although his home was cozy, there was aomething missing.
It was quiet, too quiet.
There was never anyone to talk to. There was never anyone to play with. The starfish realised he was lonely.
Stanley though about this all day long. When the sun slipped away that night he was lonlier than he had ever been before.
He moved over to his favourite rock and tried to snuggled down to sleep, but for some reason the rock now seemed to hard and too cold.
"If i just have someone to talk to," Stanley said to himself. "Then, I wouldn't be so lonely."
Stanley looked up and began to watch the night sky. One by one, bright, twinkling stars appeared, bringing soft to the darkness.
Stanly had never seen the stars before. He was usually sound asleep before the moon laid it path across the water. This new sight was amazing.
"That's it!" Stanley said, sitting straight up.
Why, I don;t belong in this little pool at all. No wonder I am so lonely, i must be a star that fell out of the sky!"
"But how will i ever get back up there?"
He could see the path the moon spread across the great ocean, and he deided that it must be the path back to the sky. He would just have to find a wa to that path.
All night long Stanley lay awake, wondering how he could get to that bright moon path. Stanley had never left his cozy little home. Finally he decided that he would somehow have to go out into the great ocean to find the path to the stars in the sky.
When the tode came in the next day. Stanley inched his way into the swirling water. The great waves quickly rushed him out into the great ocean.
Stanley rolled and tumbled this way and that in the mighty waves, and the trip nearly took his breath away. Finally, the swirling and turning stopped and Stanley drifted slowly down to the ocean floor.
Here the water was not nice and warm like his pool. It was dark and cold and mysterious.
Just then a school of fish surrounded him. Stanley thought that would be a good time to ask about the moon's path. But the fish simply ignored him and his questions and swam away.
An old sea horse watching from nearby bgan to chuckle.
"Silly little starfish!" he laughed.
"The fish learn in school never to talk to srangers. But if you want to know about the moon's path, I will tell you this, you will only find it at night."
This disappointed Stanley, but he knew it must be true, because he had never seen the moon's path during the day. Stanley decide to settle down in the sand and wait for night to come. He could use a nap after his sleepless night.
It seemed to Stanley that he had only just dozed off when he heard a strange noise that sounded very much like somebody shouting WAKE UP!
Stanley opened his eyes. A huge hungry monster was swimming right toward him, licking his lips and grinning. Quickly Stanley ducked into a big dark space under a rock and huddled there, shaking with fright.
When a voice spoke from behind him, he was so startled that he jumped straight up and bumped his head on the rock.
"It's okay now!, Calm down," the voice said.
"That big puffer fish must have really scared you! Golly, don;t you know a starfish should never nap in the open like that? You were awfully lucky you know! You almost ended up as that big fish's dinner!"
Stanley turned toward the voice and found himself face to face with a pretty starfish.
"Oh, thank you for saving my life," Stanley gasped. "I had no idea it could be so dangerous out here!"
And then Stanley bliked as he looked at the other little starfish. "But who are you? What's your name? Did you fall from the sky too?" Stanley asked excitedly. "maybe we can find our way back together!"
The new little starfish giggled, "My name is Marcie. Fall from the sky! What in the world are you talking about?"
So Stanley introduced himself to Marcie and explained how lonley his little pool was in the rocks with no one around to talk to or play with. He told her how he had seen the sky so full of stars and was looking for the moon's path to lead him up to his twinkling family in the sky.
"Oh Stanley!" Marcie giggled. "You don't belong int he sky! You're a starfish, just like me! Starfish belong in the water! Anyway, i'm afraid the moon's path would never lead you to the sky. The seahorse told me it's just a reflection of the moon on the water."
Stanley looked sadly at Marcie. "Then I guess I should go back home," he said, "but it was so lonley there."
Then Stanley began to tell his new friend about his quiet, safe home, the warm sun, the glittering sand and his favourite rock.
"That sounds wonderful!" exclaimed Marcie. "But why ever did you leave it? The ocean is full of so many dangers, and the sun hardly ever reaches the deep waters."
"You're right," sighed Stanley. "I don;t really want to stay out here it's too cold and dangerous. It's just that I was so very lonely back there by myself."
"I have a wonderful idea!" said Marcie. If you like, i'll go back to the rocks by the shore with you. I will stay and be your friend for always. We can talk and play togethre, and you will never be lonely again!"
"Will you? Really? I would like that a lot Marcie!" Stanley exclaimed happily. "We'll be best friends! But it's going to be high tide soon, so we had better hurry up if you want to get home!"
So together, Marcie and Stanley moved along toward the ocean's bottom, to where the swirling waters of the tide could carry them closer to shore.
They stayed very close together so that in the rough waters they wouldn't lose each other, and soon they tumbled safely back into Stanley's sheltered little pool amidst the rocks at the waters edge.
Stanley proudly showed Marcie around his cozy little home. Then, as the sun slipped over the horizon and the stars above began to fill the sky with twinkling brightness, Stanley and Marcie snuggled up to Stanley's favourite rock and they both fell fast asleep.