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Sai Weng Shi Ma

 

塞翁失马 (sài wēng shī mǎ)

Sai Weng Shi Ma

 

Once upon a time, there lived an old man on the northern frontier of China. One day, his horse disappeared. His neighbors came to comfort him. But the old man was not upset at all. He said the loss might turn out to be a good thing. And he was right. A few months later, his horse came back with another horse that was even better. His neighbors came to congratulate him on his gain. But once again, the old man viewed the event differently. He said this “good luck” might turn out to be misfortune in the end. Strangely, he was right again. A few days later, his son fell from the new horse and broke his leg. But fortunately, since his son was lame after that accident, he was not chosen to be a soldier to fight in the following war so that he lived with family safely. Nowadays people use “The old man on the frontier lost his horse” to comfort those who have some misfortune. It implies: Bad luck sometimes turns out to be good luck, and good luck can sometimes be bad.

 

从前,在中国的塞北住着一位老人。一天,他的马不见了。邻居们都来安慰他。但这位老人却一点也不难过。他说这也许会是件好事。他说对了。几个月后,他的马带着另一匹更好的马回来了。他的邻居又为他的收获而祝贺。可是,这位老人对这件事的看法又和别人不同。他说这个好运也许最终会成为不幸。奇怪的是,他又说对了。几天后,他的儿子在骑那匹新的马时摔了下来,断了一条腿。但幸运的是,正因为他儿子在这场意外后成了跛子,他没有被选为士兵去参加战争,得以和家里人平安的生活。现在人们用”塞翁失马”这个成语来安慰遭受不幸的人。它表明:不幸有时也会成为好运,而好运有时也会变成不幸。