Saturday, April 02, 2005

Ethics for Activists - 7

The following story was an immediate favourite of my neice when she was 6 years old.


Once upon a time there lived a poor farmer who lived alone with his one son. They were poor and lived a hard life. One day their only horse ran away. Their fellow villagers lamented saying, “What will you do now? That was your only horse. How will you farm your land. You are so unlucky.”

To this the poor farmer said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later the farmer’s horse came back bringing with it a wild horse. And the villagers said, “Now you have two horses to work your land. You’re so lucky!”

And the farmer said, “We’ll see.”

The next day the farmer’s son was taming the wild horse when he was thrown from her back and broke his leg. And the villagers said, “Now who will help you work your land? That is your only son. How unlucky.”

And the farmer said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later the army came through town. They were there to draft all the able-bodied young men to fight in a distant war for their emperor. All the young men of the village, except for the poor farmer’s injured boy, were taken away. The villagers watched as their children were taken away. They looked at the poor farmer and his boy and said, “You’re so lucky.”

And the farmer said, “We’ll see.”

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