"There is an old, old story about a farmer in China. One year the weather
was very good and his crops grew strong and high, and all his neighbors
told him how lucky he was to have such a fine crop and he replied, 'Maybe.'
Then the day before he was going to start the harvest a herd of wild
horses came running off the plains and trampled all his crops flat. His
neighbors came round and said how unlucky he was to lose his fine crop.
The farmer replied, 'Maybe.'
The next day the farmer's son went out with a length of rope and caught
a wild stallion and three mares, and the neighbors came round to admire
the horses and told the farmer how lucky he was. The farmer said, 'Maybe.'
In the morning the farmer's son started to break in the horses and no
sooner had he mounted the stallion than it threw him, and as he fell on
the ground he broke his leg. The neighbors carried him indoors and
commiserated with the farmer, saying how unlucky he was that his only
son was so badly injured. The farmer said, 'Maybe.'
The next day the Emperor's army came to the village on the way to fight
a great battle and all the able-bodied young men were press-ganged
into the army. But the farmer's son was not taken because of his broken
leg. All his neighbors told the farmer how lucky he was that his son had
been saved from the army and the farmer said, 'Maybe.'"