Near China's northern borders lived a man well versed in the practices of
Taoism. His horse, for no reason at all, got into the territory of the northern
tribes. Everyone commiserated with him.
"Perhaps this will soon turn out to
be a blessing," said his father.
After a few months, his animal came back,
leading a fine horse from the north. Everyone congratulated him.
this will soon turn out to be a cause of misfortune," said his father.
he was well-off and kept good horses his son became fond of riding and
eventually broke his thigh bone falling from a horse. Everyone commiserated with
"Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said his
One year later, the northern tribes started a big invasion of the
border regions. All able-bodied young men took up arms and fought against the
invaders, and as a result, around the border nine out of ten men died. This
man's son did not join in the fighting because he was crippled and so both the
boy and his father survived.