塞翁失馬 Sāi Wēng Shī Mǎ
Sāi Wēng Lost his Horse
Sāi Wēng lived on the border and he raised horses for a living. One day he lost a horse and his neighbor felt sorry for him, but Sāi Wēng didn’t care about the horse, because he thought it wasn’t a bad thing to lose a horse. After a while the horse returned with another beautiful horse, and the neighbor congratulated him on his good luck. But Sāi Wēng thought that maybe it wasn’t a good thing to have this new horse.
His son liked the new horse a lot and often took it riding. One day his son fell off the horse and broke his leg. Because of his broken leg, he couldn’t go off to the war, as was expected of all the young men in the area. Most of them died.
This proverb is said when bad luck turns to good, or when good luck turns to bad.