HOW TO TAKE THE PEANUT APART
Ivy O. Duce
Perhaps you have heard the story of the great scientist Dr. George Washington Carver. In a lecture he once gave in Minneapolis he related how he happened to make his tremendous scientific discoveries of the uses of the peanut. He told it, as related by Glenn Clark [in The Man Who Talks with the Flowers, Macalister Park Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota], this way:
"Years ago," he continued, "I went into my laboratory and said, 'Dear Mr. Creator, please tell me what the universe was made for?'
"The great Creator answered, 'You want to know too much for that little mind of yours. Ask for something more your size.'
"Then I asked, 'Dear Mr. Creator, tell me what man was made for.' Again the great Creator replied, 'Little man, you still are asking too much. Cut down the extent of your request and improve the intent.'
"So then I asked, 'Please Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?'
"'That's better, but even then it's infinite. What do you want to know about the peanut?'
"'Mr. Creator, can I make milk out of the peanut?'
"'What kind of milk do you want, good Jersey milk or just plain boarding-house milk?'
"'Good Jersey milk.'
"And then the great Creator taught me how to take the peanut apart and put it together again. And out to this process have come forth all these products.
"For over an hour Dr. Carver drew forth from his home-made box of samples a continuing procession of face powder, printer's ink, butter, shampoo, creosote, vinegar, dandruff cure, instant coffee, dyes, rubberoid compound, soaps, salads, wood stains."
WHAT AM I DOING HERE, pp. 5-6
1966 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.