As children, we’re sure different members of the family always brought up this story to make sure we never lied. We’ve been careful for most of it because who believes a liar, right? So, it comes as no surprise that now, when it’s time to teach our babies the same lesson, we go back to this age-old tale that’s worked wonders for us, and hopefully, will teach our children a lesson or two in speaking the truth!
Origin & History Of ‘The Shepherd Boy & The Wolf’ Story
The story of the shepherd boy and the wolf has its roots in Aesop’s Fables, written by Aesop, the Greek storyteller. These stories are depicted with very creative drawings that illustrate the story’s various aspects in detail. Each story was written with a valuable lesson for children to learn and apply in their everyday lives. Though this Greek storyteller lived many centuries ago, his stories have been translated and re-written in various languages and formats. Some of the different versions of his stories include animation films, stage plays, cartoon films, and oral recitation.
‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ Story
A wolf that lived in the jungle had attacked some sheep in the past, but the villagers always successfully drove it away immediately. Now, a shepherd boy was given the responsibility of taking the village sheep to graze on a small hill close to the jungle. While the sheep enjoyed their grass, the boy used to get very bored. He couldn’t sleep because he had to watch over the sheep. He decided to play a little trick. One day, while the sheep were grazing, the boy started shouting very loudly, ‘Wolf!’ The villagers in the nearby fields heard his loud screams and ran towards him. As they approached him, they saw him laugh loudly, for there was no wolf. The boy enjoyed seeing the initial concern and then the anger on the faces of the farmers!
This playful boy continued his pranks for the next few days and had a hearty laugh upon seeing how fast the farmers came to help him. The farmers were visibly upset and irritated, but went away without saying anything.
A few days later, after the boy allowed the sheep to move around the hillock, he noticed a movement in the nearby bushes. At first, he thought it was the wind. Suddenly, a wolf sprang forth and jumped in the sheep’s direction. The startled boy was taken by surprise. He panicked and started shouting very loudly, ‘Wolf’, ‘Wolf’. The farmers heard his screams and smiled at one another. “Does he think by shouting more loudly, we are going to help him?”. They continued with their work in the field, turning a deaf ear to the boy’s repeated shouting.
As the sun was seen setting in the west, the farmers collected their tools and waited for the shepherd boy to return. He always came down at sunset with the sheep and walked home with the farmers. That day, he was late. The farmers were puzzled. They were very caring people and decided that they would go up the hillock to get him and his sheep despite his naughtiness. They were surprised to see him sitting with his face covered as they approached him. They found him sobbing. “Little boy, what happened?” “The wolf attacked the sheep. I called out to you all, but no one came to help,” the boy replied.
The villagers did feel sorry, but they tried to make him understand. “You played a trick on us a few times and enjoyed a hearty laugh at our expense. We thought you were playing another trick when we heard your calls this morning! That is why we refused to come.”
Moral of the Story
“A liar is never believed even when he speaks the truth.” This short story clearly states the importance of always speaking the truth. The boy who cried wolf helps children understand that you cannot speak lies and get away with it. At some point, people begin to realise that you are always speaking lies. The shepherd boy and the wolf story is a valuable lesson for all children to stay away from lies. If you always continue to lie, then when you actually speak the truth, no one will believe you.
This classic story stresses the importance of speaking the truth. One lie can always lead to another but when you speak the truth, you don’t have to worry about anything!