Once upon a time, a shepherd boy was sent up a hill to watch
the village sheep.
The villagers told him, "Don't fall asleep. Keep a close eye on the
flock. If you see a wolf, shout as loudly as you can, and we'll come
to chase it away."
Alone on the hill day after day, the boy got bored. He decided to
play a practical joke on the villagers. He took a deep breath and
shouted, "Wolf! Wolf! A wolf is here!"
The villagers ran up to drive the wolf away. But when they reached
the top of the hill, all they saw was a laughing boy, and no wolf.
The villagers scolded the boy. "This is not funny. Don't cry 'wolf'
when there's no wolf!" Grumbling among themselves, they went
back down the hill.
The next day, the boy yelled again, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing
He bent over with laughter when the villagers once again came to
When the villagers saw no wolf, they warned the boy: "If you ever
do this again, we won't answer your call when there really is a wolf!
Don't waste our time. Don't cry 'wolf' when there's no wolf!"
But the boy just grinned and watched them trudge back down the hill.
Later that day, the boy saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock.
Immediately,he jumped to his feet and sounded the alarm: "Wolf! Wolf!"
But the villagers thought that the shepherd boy was trying to fool them
once more, so they ignored him.
When the sun set, everybody wondered why the shepherd boy hadn't
returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to look for
him, and found him crying.
"What's wrong?" they asked.
"A wolf attacked the flock. I shouted, 'Wolf! Wolf!' but nobody came. Oh
why didn't you come? I couldn't stop the wolf when it dragged a sheep
An old man put his arm around the boy and tried to comfort him. "Don't cry.
Just remember -- never lie again. No one believes liars, even when they're
telling the truth."
(Retold by Ellie Wen)