The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Once upon a time there was a shepherd boy who spent his days sitting on a hillside watching the village sheep. One day, he saw a wolf, and instantly he began to yell “A Wolf! Help! A Wolf is chasing the sheep! Hellllppp!”

The villagers came running, armed with sticks and axes, and drove the wolf away. ‘Good work!’ They said to the boy. “Thanks to you, our sheep are safe!”.

The village was so was proud of him that his fame began to spread throughout the countryside, especially after the wolf came a second time, and the sheep were saved once more because the boy promptly raised the alarm. Now in the forest near the village dwelt a band of robbers, and soon the story came to their ears as well.

One day, the leader of the robbers crept up on the shepherd boy. “Cry ‘wolf’!” He ordered “Cry ‘wolf’, or I’ll slit your throat!”

The boy began to scream “Wolf! Wolf” with all his might, and of course the villagers turned out armed to the teeth. At the very last moment the robber took to his heels, leaving the terrified boy standing next to the tranquilly grazing sheep.

The villagers glared at him. “Well? Where’s the wolf?”.

“Over – there – down – man – knife!” gasped the poor boy. It took them a few minutes to calm him down, get the whole story from him and figure out the scam, so by the time they made it back to the village, the robbery was well underway.

The villagers rushed in upon the robbers and drove them off. The robbers had taken most of the valuable things in the village with them and seriously injured half a dozen people, besides smashing and upturning and destroying everything in their path.

The boy, who was still sitting upon the hillside with the sheep, knew nothing of all this. But among the villagers there was a murmur already rising that soon turned into a chorus of indignant voices: the shepherd boy was in league with the robbers!

Once they had decided upon this to their satisfaction, they dragged him down the hill, beating him up in the process, and at dawn on the third day, hanged him from the tallest tree.

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