The tale of a Taoist farmer.

Once upon a time, many blue moons ago, in deepest, dryest China there lived a wrinkled, old knobbled farmer who had worked his patch of land for many, many a year. One day his only horse ran away.

News soon spread amongst the small village and his neighbors came to visit.

“How will you cope now without your horse to pull the plough, and planting season approaching hmmm?”

“Such bad luck,” they clucked sympathetically, amongst much tutting and shrugging.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning just as the golden rays of the dawn kissed the dry earth of the farm the naughty errant horse miraculously returned, bringing with it three other beautiful wild horses.

“Wow! Now you have four horses, you can sell two of them and still have one to  spare. You have truly been blessed!”

“How wonderful,” the neighbors excitedly ejaculated with much back slapping and hand rubbing.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The very following day, his son, attempting to train one of the proud untamed horses, was violently thrown to the dirt and painfully snapped his leg.

The concerned neighbors once again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Now what will you do without your main worker? Just when you were having good fortune, this terrible disaster strikes your family! Such unlucky bad karma.”

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. All of the other young men in the village failed to escape conscription.

Most of them were brutally massacred in the ensuing bloody battle.

The distraught, grieving neighbors congregated and quietly congratulated the farmer on how things had eventually turned out for him and his family.

“We have all suffered so. You alone are were very lucky.”

And the farmer said …..

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