“Long ago, there was a farmer who lived in China. This was a poor farmer who had but one horse. He used his horse to plow the fields so that he could make a living. One day, the horse ran away. “Oh no!” cried the neighbors, “That is terrible!”. The old farmer shrugged and said: “Good news, bad news – who can tell?”.
Several days later, the farmer’s horse returned to the farm with several wild horses following behind. The farmer and his son managed to capture the horses, all of them of great beauty. “Oh, how wonderful!” cried the neighbors. Once again, the farmer simply shrugged and said: “Good news, bad news – who can tell?”.
The next day, the farmer’s twenty-year-old-son managed to capture one of the wild horses, but while attempting to break the steed, was thrown and his leg badly broken. The neighbors rushed over, peering at the young man in bed, “Oh, this is awful news!” they cried. The farmer shrugged, “Good news, bad news, who can tell?”
A few weeks later, the Chinese army came by, conscripting all the area’s young men for war raging in the south. They couldn’t take the young man with the broken leg… “