A farmer and his family in ancient China owned a horse. His neighbors said how lucky he was to have such a fine horse to pull his plow through the fields. The farmer said, Maybe yes, maybe no.
One day the horse broke through the gate and ran away. His neighbors came around to lament his terrible loss, saying it was a terrible bit of bad luck. The farmer said, Maybe yes, maybe no.
Days later the horse returned to the farm along with seven wild horses. His neighbors came around to exclaim his remarkable good fortune, saying, Now you are rich! The farmer said, Maybe yes, maybe no.
A few weeks later the farmers son was training the new wild horses and fell off and broke his leg. The neighbors came around to commiserate his misfortune and said, What bad luck! The farmer replied, Maybe yes, maybe no.
The next week the army came around taking all the able-bodied young men from the village to fight in the war. The farmers son with the broken leg was left behind. The neighbors now lamented the loss of their sons and commented on how lucky the farmer was to have his son.
And so the story goes on