Chinese Proverbs (諺語, yànyŭ)
This is an ancient Chinese fable that tells the story of a good man who lived in a distant village and was well respected by all his neighbours.
The man was a farmer and had been brought up in a loving family with excellent manners.
One day, a beautiful horse came to his farm. The animal had a shiny white coat and a fantastic musculature. The horse began to graze and stayed to live on the good man's farm.
Everyone said to the man, "What good fortune you have had". But the good man replied: "Maybe". And then he added: "What seems like a blessing is sometimes a curse".
How could he not think it was a blessing that an extraordinary horse had come to his farm all by itself?
Winter came. One morning the farmer woke up very early and saw that the stable door was wide open. He approached the place and noticed that the magnificent horse was no longer there. He had run away.
Soon the neighbours heard the news. "We are very sorry," they told him. The man, however, remained completely serene. Then he told them they had nothing to worry about. He added: "What seems like a curse is sometimes a blessing". The people thought he was crazy.
One afternoon, the farmer was working on his fields when suddenly he heard a loud noise.
The man looked into the distance and could make out the figure of the lost horse. However, the wonderful animal was not alone. Behind him were 20 other horses. The farmer was surprised. They were all beautiful specimens and were on their way home.
The animals stayed on the farm and the law then allowed them to be his property. The neighbours could not believe it. They congratulated him on his new acquisition. As at other times, the man only replied: "What seems like a blessing is sometimes a curse".
It was already early autumn when the farmer's son set out to tame the most difficult of all horses. Although the young man was prepared, the horse threw him and thus broke one of his legs. The neighbours said to the farmer. "What bad luck you have had! As usual, he replied: "What seems like a curse is sometimes a blessing".
Only a week later war broke out. The emperor had all the young men in the village conscripted. The only one who was spared was the farmer's son, as he was convalescing due to his broken leg. Only then did the people understand the farmer's great wisdom.
Since then, this Chinese fable has been told from generation to generation, so that no one forgets that nothing is good or bad in itself.