The Shepherd’s Boy and the Wolf

The Shepherd’s Boy and the Wolf

A Shepherd-boy, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, “Wolf! Wolf!” and when his neighbors came to help him, laughed at them for their pains. The Wolf, however, did truly come at last. The Shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror: “Pray, do come and help me; the Wolf is killing the sheep”; but no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The Wolf, having no cause of fear, at his leisure lacerated or destroyed the whole flock.

There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.


This well known little tale – we apply it to other people. A colleague calls in sick all the time, and when they get real sick nobody believes them. Etc.


But it bites a bit, when it comes to ourselves, because we all have to lie at times. Subsequently we don’t know if other people ended up guessing the truth.

  • When someone don’t come in the end, we’re a bit bitter, but so there, right?
  • Maybe we had to lie : to protect them? From what?
  • Or to hide a bigger lie?
  • Or because we want or need the other one to not believe us ever again?
  • Or maybe they come and we think they didn’t get it the first time but in fact they knew we lied from the beginning and they now hide their intentions, good or bad?
  • What if a villager comes at last, understanding that the little boy lied by stupidity, youthful mistake – and really deserves help now? Maybe he’ll understand the lesson but in a more empathetic way?
  • What is the cost of unmasking a liar?
  • Who are those who dare to say they never, ever lie?
  • How stupid is the shepherd-boy, to call villagers like that? A prank?
  • The villagers who don’t come, is it because they now think it’s a prank, or by revenge?
  • What about this story about pretty little lies? And with big dramatic ones?
  • Examples?


Thanks for reading!



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