Nikolaj, shepherd from Grebenac, a village in Vojvodina.putty
Once there was a man who had a beautiful horse. But one day the horse broke out of the barn and escaped. The people said “Oh, what misfortune, your horse is gone!”; but the man just shrugged his shoulders and answered “Fortune… misfortune… what is it?”. Several days after, the horse came back, followed by the herd of wild horses. Now everybody said “Oh, you are so fortunate, you have many horses now!”; but the man just answered “Fortune… misfortune… what is it?”. After a while, the man’s son decided to tame the horses. But on attempting to do so, a wild horse threw him down and he broke his leg. “Oh what misfortune!” everybody said, “Because of the horses your son is now injured!”; but the man only answered – “Fortune… misfortune… what is it?”
After some time solders came into the village. A war was going on, and they took all young men with them to distant battles. They took everybody, but they left one boy behind – the man’s son, because of his broken leg.
“Fortune… misfortune… what is it?”