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The story of a farmer whose horse ran away.

 

 

 

 

There was a farmer whose horse ran away.  His neighbor commiserated, only to be told,

“Who knows what’s good or bad?” 

It was true, for the next day the horse returned, bringing with it a drove of wild horses it had befriended.  The neighbor reappeared, this time with congratulations for the windfall.  He received the same response: “Who knows what’s good or bad?”  Again this proved true, for the next day the farmer’s son tried to mount one of the wild horses and fell, breaking his leg.  More commiseration from the neighbor, which elicited the question: “Who knows what’s good or bad?”  And for a fourth time the farmer’s point prevailed, for the following day soldiers came by commandeering for the army, and the son was exempted because of his injury.  

 

<A Taoist story>

 

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