A farmer worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they expressed sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The following day the horse returned, bringing three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man.
The next day, his son attempted to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg.
The neighbors once again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” said the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing the young man’s broken leg, they passed him by.
The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had unfolded. “Maybe,” the farmer answered.