A Zen tale from Carol Adrienne’s The Purpose of Your Life in her chapter on Transforming Obstacles:
“A farmer who had just acquired a stallion came to the Zen Master in distress, saying, “Master, the horse is gone, the horse is gone!” for the stallion had run away. The Zen Master replied, “Who knows if it’s good or bad?” The farmer returned to his work feeling sad and miserable. Two days later the stallion returned and brought with him two mares. The farmer was overjoyed and he went to the Zen Master, saying, “The horse is back and has brought two others with him.” The Master replied, “Who knows if it’s good or bad?” Three days later the farmer was back again, crying because his only son, his only helper on the farm, had been thrown from one of the horses and his back had been broken. He was now in a body cast and could do no work. The Zen Master again replied, “Who knows if it’s good or bad?” A few days later a group of soldiers came to the farm as they were conscripting all the young men in the area to fight in a war. Since the farmer’s son was in a body cast they did not take him. “ *
* Original Source: Vaughn, Awakening Intuition, p. 168.