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The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf - Aesop fables

There was once a young shepherd boy who watched over his sheep every day. 

While the sheep ate grass, he passed the time by seeing how far he could throw a rock, or by looking at the clouds to see how many animal shapes he could find.

He liked his job well enough, but he longed for a little excitement.
So, one day he decided to play a trick on the people of the village.

"Wolf! Wolf!" he shouted as loud as he could.

Hearing the shepherd boy's cry, the people in the village picked up pitchforks and clubs and ran to help the boy save his sheep.

When they arrived, they saw no wolf.

They saw only the shepherd boy, doubled up with laughter.

"I fooled you. I fooled you," he said.

The people thought this was a very bad joke, indeed. They warned the boy not to call again, unless he really saw a wolf.

The next week, the boy again played his trick on the villagers.

"Wolf! Wolf!" he cried out.

Once again, the people ran to his aid, and once again, they found no wolf—only the boy, laughing at them.

The next day, a wolf really did come down from the hills to help itself to a few fat sheep.

"Wolf! Wolf!" yelled the shepherd boy with all the power in his lungs.

The people of the village heard his shouts for help and smiled.

"He's trying to trick us again," they said, "but this time we won't be fooled."

Finally, the boy stopped shouting.

He knew the villagers didn't believe him. He knew they wouldn't come.

All he could do was stand back and watch the wolf kill his sheep.

*   *   *
People who tell lies are seldom believed, even when they tell the truth.

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