HOME A Loss May Turn Out to Be a Gain
A Chinese Fable

Long ago, near the frontier lived an old man. One day he found his horse missing. It was said that the horse was seen running outside the border of the country. The neighbors came to comfort him for the unfortunate loss. But the old man was unexpectedly calm and said, "It doesn't matter; it may not be a bad event, on the contrary, I think it can be a good one."

One night the old man heard some noise of horses and got up to see. To his surprise, he saw another beautiful horse as well as his own. It was clear that his horse had brought a companion home. Hearing the news, the neighbors all came to say congratulation on his good luck. At the greetings, however, the old man was very calm and thoughtful. He added, "It is true that I got a new horse for nothing, but it is hard to say whether it is good or bad. It may be an unlucky thing."

What he said was testified right. The son of the old man was very fond of the horse brought home, and one day, when he was riding the horse, he fell down from the horseback and terribly hurt in his left leg. Since then he was never able to walk freely. "Nothing serious," the old man said, "perhaps it is going to be good."

A year later, many of the youth there were recruited to fight in a war and most of them died. The son of the old man was absolved from the obligation for his disability, so he escaped death.

The old story tells us that good and bad, disaster and happiness can be converting objects to each other sometimes.

[found on the web at http://chineseculture.about.com/library/extra/story/blyrh12291999.htm and saved here because these things have a habit of disappearing]