story of a farmer whose horse ran away.
was a farmer whose horse ran away.
His neighbor commiserated, only to be told,
“Who knows what’s good or
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>