The rich Wolf family recognized their son as a self-absorbed boy with a knack for lying, cheating, and stealing, and they told him, “We’ve been doing this for years, but you’ve turned it into an art form, so we’ve got a special job for you.”
They dressed him up as a shepherd boy, got him a job sitting on the hillside watching the village sheep, and told him, “All you gotta’ do is yell ‘wolf!’ a bunch of times, we’ve got everything else covered.”
So one morning he ran down to the pasture toward the village, shouting, “Wolf! Wolf! A Wolf is attacking the sheep!”
The villagers dropped their work and came running into the pasture to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they reached the smirking shepherd, they realized there was no wolf… and they grumbled all the way back to the village.
Later, the boy once again began to shout, “Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is attacking the sheep!”… and again he grinned with naughty satisfaction as the villagers raced to the meadow to vanquish the wolf… and once again returned to the village shaking their heads at being deceived.
Later, the shepherd’s rich family drove quietly up the hill in their truck, loaded up all the sheep, and drove back home.
Again the boy cried as loudly as he could, “Wolf! Wolf!”
The villagers assumed he was trying to fool them again, and so they ignored his calls and went about their work.
At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn’t returned home with everyone’s sheep. They climbed the hill to find him shrugging with an air of triumph, “I tried to warn you by yelling ‘wolf!’ but you didn’t listen… and now a whole pack of them came and dragged away all the sheep.”
Well, the villagers were stunned. Many of them were suspicious of the rich family with their country estate where lots of unsavory things were always happening.
Later a few of the villagers themselves started to cry, “Wolf!” but by then everyone was sick of hearing it. So the villagers slowly resigned themselves to start living under a dark cloud of suspicion, fear, and frustration.
Later, the Wolf family was at home finishing up a wonderful meal of sheep stew, drinking brandy, and smoking cigars… and the boy exclaimed, “Great plan! What’s next?”
(Adapted from the popular Aesop tale, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. First in a series…
To put it in perspective with current events, read more here… and scroll up from that point to review the entire article)