The profundity of yellow & pink

In 1984, one the finest pieces of apologetic prose of the century came from a cartoonist and children’s author.  I could not find my copy, and I have not read it in years, but it came to mind the other day in a conversation and I want to try to creatively retell the story here.  But reading it firsthand is far better.  😉

William Steig wrote Yellow & Pink, a story about two wooden people who wake up suddenly to find themselves on a blanket of newspaper with no idea how they came to be there.

Yellow is a skeptic from the start.  He is sure that they came to be there by chance.  Pink, on the other hand, believes they must have been created by someone.  The argument ensues.  Yellow makes a case that a branch of wood might have snapped off a tree in a lightning storm, rolled down a hill and been smoothed by weathering processes, and rolled through a puddle of paint that had smaller puddle drips in circles for the painted-on buttons.  Although Pink doesn’t think his case is convincing at first, he begins to believe Yellow towards the end.  But then Pink makes a statement something like this,

“All right, okay.  Suppose you’re right.  The lightning broke the branch off, we rolled down the hill, all these weathering and chance processes happened . . suppose you’re right.  There’s still this one more thing.  How do we see out of these things called eyes?  How do I move my hands and feet?  How do I breathe with my nose?  How do I hear out of my ears?  How do I talk with my mouth?”

To which Yellow responds something like,

“What kind of question is that?  That’s what they do, dummy!”

Do Yellow and Pink ?accidentally? hit upon a profundity here?  (No, you and I know it is no accident, but the masterful work of William Steig–but that’s another story–or is it a different way of telling the same point?)

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20, NIV)


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