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Saio's Horse

When Great Evil occurs, Great Good will follow.

In China, there once was an old man who lived on the outskirts of a town. He was a little strange for he never got depressed about sad events nor delighted on joyous occasions.

As it happened, one day, his horse escaped. But when his neighbors came to console him, he didn't seem to care much about it saying, "No, it is nothing to be depressed about."

After a few days, his wayward horse came back in the company of a fine horse whose beauty could hardly be matched by any other in the land.

His neighbors joyfully said, "We thought the loss of your horse was a cause for grief, but it turned out to be a reason for celebration." However, the old man did not pay any attention to their reaction saying, "This is nothing to be overjoyed about."

Some time later, the old man's son was out riding the beautiful horse when he fell off, breaking his shoulder. The neighbors once again grieved and tried to console the old man but again he seemed undisturbed by the incident.

Soon thereafter, a revolt broke out in the land and all the able-bodied young men of the village were rounded up and sent off to fight and die. Due to the serious injury to his shoulder, only the old man's son was not conscripted and he alone was left behind and survived.

This parable is the source of the old Chinese proverb "Every happening in one's life is like Saio's horse." "Saio" means "the old man living in the fortress in the north." In truth, it is difficult to judge what is going to be the cause of happiness and unhappiness.

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