In which I share a story (or two) about fortune and mixed blessings

Long ago, a man owned a wonderful horse. 

This is how three of the trailer tires looked when we got to the trailhead
the other day

This horse was strong, fast, and brave.  

"How fortunate you are to have such a wonderful horse!" the man's neighbors would say to him.

"Maybe so, maybe no," replied the man.  "Only time can tell."

One dark night a tree fell in the pasture, knocking down the fence.  The horse got out of the pasture and ran far off into the hills.  

This is how the fourth tire looked.  Note the spattered grease
and the plume of smoke.

No matter how long the man and his family searched and called, they could not find the horse.

"How unfortunate!" said his neighbors.  "You've lost your wonderful horse."

We sent Jim the photo and asked for advice.
"Go for your ride," he said, "and I'll come out and take
a look."  We took a photo of the tack room, just
in case the trailer burnt up while we were gone.

 "Maybe so, and maybe no," replied the man.  "Only time can tell."

The next Spring, the horse returned--and he brought with him five fine mares, each with a foal at heel.

"How fortunate that you have such a fine herd of horses!" said the neighbors.

But, "Maybe so, and maybe no," was all the man would say.

We went for our ride/mushroom hunt.
Cold temps are forecast for tonight--probably the end of chanterelle season. 

 Time passed, the herd continued to mature and grow.  The man's only son was training some of the young stock under saddle, and he was thrown from a horse's back.

He survived the injury, but only barely:  he walked with a terrible limp for the rest of his life.

Even in cold weather, riding doesn't make me limp anymore*

"How unfortunate," said the neighbors.  "You must agree that this injury is truly bad luck for your son."

But, "Maybe so, and maybe no," was all the old man would say.

It barely even rained--really excellent weather considering
the 80% precip predictions

 In time, the King's army came to that place, and they conscripted all the young men to be soldiers, to fight in a far-away war.

The war continued for years.  All the young men who had gone away to be soldiers died in the war, and none of them ever returned home.

Many of our usual mushroom spots were depleted by
rain and other harvesters

The only young man who had not been taken as a soldier was the son of the man with the horse.

Artists are easy to entertain: Monica picked a huge bouquet of enormous
maple leaves to bring home

That man walked with such a terrible limp that the army left him behind.

"He will never be a soldier," they said.

Back at the trailer, Jim was there with lunch for us all...

And so, that young man was the only one of his generation to grow up, have children of his own, to grow old.

...but the parts he brought to fix the wheel bearing were not quite the right size

Within a few generations, all the people of that village were descended from the man who had the wonderful horse.

It wasn't possible to take the old bearings in to match sizes--they'd melted
onto the brake magnet.  That would be the source of the smoke...

And in that place, no matter what happened,

Jim made another dash out to the parts store, so we took our "bareback" ponies
out to another mushroom spot

*remounting the tall horse after mushrooming, I slid slow motion off a
wet stump/mounting block and ended up under her belly.  She didn't move a muscle
except to look at me, "WTF?" Today, I'm a little ouchy from the fall.
 even if something seemed be fortunate

or unfortunate,

Back at the trailer, Jim and Tim went through three boxes of cuss words
to get the rig back together so we could haul home.

 the people of that village would say, "Maybe so, and maybe no.

The trailer will be at the shop for a while, but everyone
got home safe and sound.

"Only time can tell."


  1. I wonder how long you've been telling that story. I read it last year in a Mark Rashid book. His lesson being "With horses, there is no good or bad."

  2. What a wonderful reminder that life has an unusual way of unfolding!;) Glad everything worked out OK!

  3. I love this story, thanks for sharing. It all starts with a wonderful horse...maybe...

    And I keep and extra box of cuss words if Jim and Tim ever need to borrow it. What a hassle!

  4. Oh wow. Just wow. Glad jim is the wonderful man he is. I can totally picture ur slo mo fall. Classic :)

  5. Loved the intertwining of two different stories and in the end the message was similar.. great post!


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