Stars in the Sand #flashfiction

When I read Charli’s prompt at the Carrot Ranch this week, to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where the it leads!, all I could think of was the story about the boy and the starfish. I’m sure you know the one, written by Loren Eiseley.

It’s about a boy who was walking along the beach one day when hundreds of starfish were stranded on the sand and the tide was going out. The starfish would die if left on the sand. The boy picked up the starfish, one by one, and gently threw them into the water. A man walking by asked him what he was doing and suggested he couldn’t make a difference as there were too many starfish. The boy continued to pick up the starfish and throw them back into the ocean. “I made a difference to that one,” he said.

It’s a beautiful story with a wonderful message. What seems like a small act to one, a drop in the ocean, can make an enormous difference to another. We may never know what impact our actions, even a smile, can have on another.

Then there were the beautiful little origami wish stars that Bec and I used to make when she was young. We’d make them in all sorts of colours and fill jars with them (well, one or two at least). I don’t think we ever hid them in the sand, but we could have. What fun it would be to have a treasure hunt in the sand for stars.

This video explains how to make those little wish stars. Maybe you have made some too.

And of course, just like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, stars were always popular in early childhood classrooms to denote good work, good effort or good behaviour, and classes often had a ‘star of the week’ for special recognition and privileges. And at the collage table, glitter and glitter stars were always popular. A little glitter and few stars did wonders to enhance any work of art.

The image in my title is of one such artwork created for me by my granddaughter when she was still in her pre-school days. It is called ‘Starry Night’ and hangs proudly beside a print of the other more famous ‘Starry Night’ in my dining room.

The collage table is where I’ve gone with my response to Charli’s prompt. I had wanted to write about someone with stars in her eyes but feet in the sand but couldn’t quite pull it off. Perhaps it was too autobiographical. I had big plans for what I wanted to write but the sand kept shifting beneath my feet and I couldn’t grab hold of anything. Anyway, this is my response. I hope you like it.

Stars in the Sand

Works of art, created from random pieces of this and that, were incomplete without a generous sprinkling of glitter. When stars were available, the children were in heaven. Though insignificant to others, the works held meaning for the artist, at least for a moment like a particle of glitter passing through a sandglass. Peta watched George painstakingly place his stars. She turned his paper around. “Stars don’t go in the sand, silly. They go in the sky.” George turned it back. “They’re starfish. Starfish go in the sand. Don’t you know anything?” “Oh,” said Peta. “They are beautiful starfish!”

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

31 thoughts on “Stars in the Sand #flashfiction

  1. Hugh W. Roberts

    Both ‘Starfish’ stories are amazing, Norah. The first one goes to show that the smallest of gestures do make such a big difference.
    And your other starfish story made me chuckle. I love the way children think and how thay can prove adults so wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Jules

    I enjoyed reading about the story of the starfish… and about the different children’s interpretation of stars in the sky and on the sand. One should be proud for thinking outside of the box as well as even saving one starfish… on the beach.

    I think when people smile they light up their faces and when their eyes twinkle… well there you have human kindness stars!

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Pingback: Stars in the Sand « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  4. calmkate

    Love your grandies artwork! Heard that story before but it was a beautiful dancing lady tossing each starfish back into the ocean 🙂

    Nice story, kids work it out quicker than us adults 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Kate. I’m rather fond of the artwork too.
      I have heard a few different versions of the starfish story as well. I think the one I quoted is the original. Others have changed it to make it their own, I guess.
      I think these children learned a bit from each other in this story.
      Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m surprised you didn’t know the starfish story, Anne, so I’m pleased to have introduced you to it. I seem to have heard it many times over the years.
      I had quite a few ideas for this prompt but they never became more than that. I just had to sit down and write when the deadline was looming and that’s what I came up with. I appreciate your gold star. Thank you. 🤩

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. petespringerauthor

    I haven’t thought of that story of the starfish and the boy in a long time. What a fabulous message! Thanks for reminding me of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Charli Mills

    You found story treasure as the sands shifted, Norah. I was wondering if starfish would emerge this week as I was also thinking about the boy and the starfish. It was the favorite story of a mayor I knew in Minnesota and each year she gave out starfish pins to staff who made a difference in her town. Those oragami stars are quite a project!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      That’s a mayor I’d like. It is good to recognise the contribution that people have made to the community. A lot of good is done by volunteers behind the scenes whose work is rarely acknowledged but its absence would be noticed.
      The origami stars are not difficult and fun to do together. It provides a great opportunity for talk. 💖

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