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Title:PROVERBS AND IDIOMS:塞翁失马

小白
Topic Poster
小白 10-10-12 14:15

The idiom "塞翁失马" originates from huainanzi, a book by Liu An et al in the Western Han Dynasty.

         There once lived a man at the northern frontier of China, who was an excellent horseman. One day, one of his horses ran away to the Hun area to the north. His neighbors all expressed regret over this incident and tried to comfort him. But his father responded:"it's merely the loss of a horse. Who knows but what it may bring us good fortune." this sounded rather ridiculous to all.

         A few days later, the lost horse came back together with a fine horse of the Huns. The neighbors all came to congratulate him and to admire the old man's foresight, but the old man seemed more worried that happy, saying:" a fine horse for nothing may not necessarily be good luck but possibly the opposite."

         With the fine horse from the north at his disposal, the old man's son went out riding every day, but one day he was thrown off and broke his leg. The neighbors came again to offer their comfort, only to find the old man reassured and themselves receiving comfort from his instead. "Don't you worry Though a broken leg is no good thing, it may be a blessing in disguise." the neighbors had no idea how a broken leg could bring good luck.

         Soon a war broke out and all the other young men were drafted into the army, among whom lots died. But the old man's son was not drafted because of his broken leg and so survived the war.

Last edited on10-10-12 14:15