Folk Tale Query

vasu at vasu at
Thu Dec 5 22:55:52 UTC 1996

>I don't know of an Indian version, but Huston Smith has a similar story in
his chapter on Taoism ("The Religions of Man").  I don't recall the
specifics; I read it many, many moons ago, and it goes something like this:
A man's horse runs away and his neighbor extends his sympathy; the owner
says: who knows if it is good or bad.  The horse comes back with 6 others
and the neighbor congratulates him; the owner of 6 new horses gives the same
reply.  The owner's son breaks his leg riding on a new horse, and the
neighbor (a slow learner, I gather) maks sympathetic noises.  Our friend,
whose replies sound like "this is a recording" says: who knows if it is good
or bad.  The next day the army sends around a recruiting team and because
this kid has a broken leg, he is not drafted  into the army (maybe he also
inhaled) and is presumably spared his life. And so the story goes...
Sorry, it's a great tale, but it is Chinese.  Like a good Indian, I should
say: they probably got it from us. It's in the Vedas (ought to be anyway).
Best wishes, Vasudha

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