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Not so True Stories

A Mexican newspaper reports that bored Royal Air Force pilots
stationed on the Falkland Islands have devised what the consider
a marvelous new game. Noting that the local penguins are
fascinated by airplanes, the pilots search out a beach where
the birds are gathered and fly slowly along it at the water
edge. Perhaps ten thousand penguins turn their heads in unison
watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn around and
fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite direction,
like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match. Then, the paper
reports "The pilots fly out to sea and directly to the penguin
colony and overfly it. Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand
penguins fall over gently onto their backs.

An Argentine newspaper reports that bored penguins living on
the Falkland Islands have devised what they consider a marvelous
new game. Noting that the local Royal Air Force pilots are
fascinated by penguins, the birds congregate on a beach where the
pilots fly over, and turn their heads slowly in unison while
standing at the water's edge. Perhaps ten thousand pilots fly
by, and when the penguins turn their heads in the opposite
direction the airplanes all fly back, like remote control toys.
Then, the paper reports "The penguins look directly out to sea,
where the planes follow their gaze. Heads and planes go up, up,
up, and ten thousand airplanes run out of fuel and fall splash
into the ocean."

One at a Time

A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at
sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance.
As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down,
picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again
he kept hurling things out into the ocean.

As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was
picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a
time, he was throwing them back into the water.

Our friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said, "Good
evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing."

"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low
tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the
shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from
lack of oxygen."

"I understand," my friend replied, "but there must be thousands of
starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them. There are
simply too many. And don't you realize this is probably happening on
hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you
can't possibly make a difference?"

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another
starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "Made a
difference to that one!"

Jack Canfield and Mark V. Hansen