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The Taoist Farmer

There once was a farmer whose only horse broke out of his corral and ran off. All of the farmer’s neighbors heard what happened and expressed their sympathy to him for having such bad luck. The farmer replied to their concern by saying, “Bad luck, good luck, maybe, who knows?”
A few days later, the farmer’s horse returned. But when the horse returned, it was accompanied by an entire herd of wild horses. The farmer and his son corralled the horses, and once again all of the farmer’s neighbors came to see him. This time, they expressed their amazement at how lucky the farmer was. The farmer replied to their comments by saying, “Bad luck, good luck, maybe, who knows?”
While riding one of the wild horses, the farmer’s son fell off and broke his leg. Yet again, the farmer’s neighbors heard what happened and expressed their sympathy to him for having such bad luck. The farmer replied to their concern by saying, “Bad luck, good luck, maybe, who knows?”
The next day, a war broke out between a rival village and all able-bodied young men were recruited to fight. The farmer’s son, unable to fight because of the broken leg, was spared from going to war.
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