You are here

Who Knows?

A retelling of a Taoist parable

In a valley lived a farmer. He was not rich, but neither was he poor. He had food enough for his family. He had fields that yielded a decent harvest year after year. And he had a very fine work horse.

One morning the farmer discovered that his horse had run away during the night. His sympathetic neighbors said, "What bad luck!" But the farmer simply replied, "Good, bad, who knows how it will turn out in the end?"

Two days later, the horse returned, bringing three wild horses with it. The farmer's neighbors were happy for him. "What good luck!" they said. But the farmer simply replied, "Good, bad, who knows how it will turn out in the end?"

A few days later, the farmer's son was trying to tame one of the wild horses when it threw him to the ground, breaking his arm. The neighbors said, "What bad luck!" But the farmer simply replied, "Good, bad, who knows how it will turn out in the end?"

A week later, military officials arrived in the valley, looking for able-bodied young men to conscript into service. Because the farmer's son had a broken arm, they left him alone. "What good luck!" said the neighbors. But the farmer simply replied, "Good, bad, who knows how it will turn out in the end?"

up
123 readers like this.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer