Volume 2 – The Wit and Wisdom of Safed the Sage



By now, the reader will be familiar with the unusual writing style of Mr. Barton, including his unusual punctuation and odd use of capital letters to lend significance to particular words. My hope is that you find it as endearing as do I. Otherwise, I have tried in vain to keep the original writer’s style intact.

But quite aside from the writing style, it is the use of the commonplace to illustrate the extraordinary and the eternal that sets the parables of the fictitious Safed, apart from ordinary stories containing mere morals.

In a world desperately in need of truth, and just plain common sense, it is my very real pleasure to reintroduce to you, Safed the Sage.



Now I rode on a Fast Express Train called the Limited. And we went through a Country where there were Many Farms. And the Train went like the Driving of Jehu.

And there was a farmhouse that stood near unto the track but back, as it were, about the space of a Furlong. And in the Farmhouse dwelt a Farmer.

And the Farmer had a Dog. And when the Train drew Nigh, the Dog started from the Farmhouse toward the Train. And he Barked Furiously, and he Ran Swiftly. And I marveled that he could run so Swiftly, and that at the same time he could Bark so Furiously. But with all his barking he could not make so much Noise as the Train, neither with all his Running could he overtake it.

And the path that he made in his Running was a Great Parabolic Curve. For he started before the Train entered the Farm, running toward the Train, and going East, for the Train was toward the West.

But as the Train ran on and stopped not, the Dog ran South, and when the Train was going By and not even Hesitating, he Curved so that he ran Southwest and then West. And at the west side of the Farm he fell into a Ditch, and rolled over and over and got up, and shook himself, and stood for a moment and cursed the Train, and then Returned Home.

And the Train went on.

And a month thereafter I rode on the same Train, and behold, the Same Dog did all the Things that he had done before.

And three months thereafter I rode again on the Same Train, and the Same Fool Dog was still Getting Experience in the Same Manner, but Learning Nothing Therefrom.

And I saw that he was even like unto some Men, who might be Brayed in a Mortar with a Pestle, yet would not their Folly depart from them.

For even as that Dog watcheth daily for that Train, rising every morning and listening for it, and chasing it through the Farm, and Tumbling in the Ditch on the West Line of the Farm, so there are Men who Chase their Follies Continually, and learn Nothing from their Tumbles.

And what would the Dog have Done with the Train if he had Caught it?

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