The Farmer and the Lost Horse

running horse - janzaremba.com

On the northern frontier of China there lived a poor old farmer named Sei Weng. This farmer had only one horse, upon whom he greatly depended. One day the horse ran away across the northern border. His neighbors came to offer their condolences. “What a shame. How will you work the land and make your living? Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. "Bad, good, who is to say?" said the farmer.

Not long after, the horse returned home, bringing with her a magnificent wild stallion. Word got out in the village and it wasn't long before people stopped by to congratulate the farmer. "What a strong and healthy horse. Such good fortune for you!" they exclaimed. "Good, bad, who is to say?" said the farmer.

The following morning, Sei Weng's only son tried to tame the stallion and was thrown to the ground, breaking his leg. One by one the neighbors came again to offer their sympathy on the farmer's latest misfortune. "Your son won't be able to help you farm with a broken leg. Such bad luck!" they exclaimed. "Bad, good, who is to say?" said the farmer.

Not long after, war broke out with the north and the Emperor's army came to the village to conscript every able-bodied young man into battle. Only Sei Weng's son, because he had a broken leg, was deemed unfit to fight and allowed to remain. The neighbors came to offer their congratulations. "Wow, it all turned out to be good luck after all!" they surmised. "Good, bad, who is to say?" said the farmer as he headed off to work his field.

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