塞翁失馬

戰國時期,靠近北部邊城,住著一個姓塞老人, 他養了許多馬。

一天,他的一匹走失了,人們聽說這件事,跑來安慰他。

塞翁說:“沒準會帶來什麽福氣呢。”

過了幾個月,丟失的馬不僅自己回了家,還帶回一匹匈奴的駿馬。

所有人都來祝賀塞翁。

塞翁反而說:“這或許會帶來不幸呢。”

因為塞翁很富有,並且養馬養得很好,所以他的兒子也十分喜愛騎馬。但沒想到有一次騎馬時,他的兒子從馬上掉了下來,摔斷了腿。

人們於是又去安慰塞翁。但塞翁卻說:“也許這次又會帶來好運呢。”

一年以後,匈奴入侵邊境。

但是塞翁的兒子因為腿斷了便沒有被征入當兵隊伍之中,而其他很多當兵的青年都戰死在了沙場,塞翁的兒子因此保住了性命。

blessing or bane

Near China's northern borders lived a man called Sai Weng. He raised a lot of horses.

One day, he lost one of his horses. Everyone commiserated with him.

"Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said Sai Weng.

After a few months, his horse came back, leading a fine horse from the north.

Everyone congratulated him.

"Perhaps this may turn out to be a cause of misfortune," said Sai Weng.

 Since he was well-off and kept good horses, his son became fond of riding and eventually broke his leg for falling from a horse.

Everyone commiserated with him. "Perhaps this will soon turn out to be a blessing," said his father.

One year later, the northern tribes started a big invasion of the border regions.

This man's son did not join in the fighting because he was crippled and so he survived.