An old man lived with his son in a fort. One day the son lost his horse. The neighbors rushed into the house to express their sympathy, but the old man said: “How do you know that this is bad luck?” A few days later, the horse came back with a number of wild horses. So the neighbors flocked indoors to congratulate him, but the old man said: “How do you know this is good luck?” Now that he had so many horses to ride, the son one day rode away on one of the wild horses. He fell off, breaking his leg. Again the neighbors knocked at the door to say: “Alas! Alas!” but the old man said: “Tut! Tut! How do you know this is bad luck?” Sure enough, before many weeks had passed, there was a great war in the Middle Flowery Kingdom, but because the old man’s son was crippled, he did not have to go off to fight.
– Chinese story –