Is That So

Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn’t have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor; he used an old horse to plough his field.

One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead.

Everyone in the village said, “Oh, what a horrible thing to happen.” The farmer said simply, “Is that so.”

He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift.

Everyone’s reaction now was, “What a lucky man.” And the farmer said, “Is that so.”

A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, “What a poor fellow!” The farmer smiled and said, “Is that so.”

Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, “What a fortunate man.”

The farmer said, “Is that so.”

Later in the year, the farmer’s young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg.

Everyone in the village said, “What a shame for the poor boy.” The farmer said, “Is that so.”

Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.

Everyone said, “What a fortunate young man.” The farmer smiled again – and said “Is that so.”

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