Saturday, December 4, 2021

"The Boy Who Cried Wolf" by Aesop

Click to see Vol. I, Issue 6 of the newsletter in which this article first appeared.

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This article is designed for younger readers, with activities more suitable for children. It is from Aesop's Fables.

There once was a shepherd boy who spent all day taking care of his master's sheep near the edge of a deep, dark forest. He didn't have much to do all day, so one day, growing bored, he thought of a joke. He thought it would be funny to call out to the villagers that a wolf was attacking!

And so he did. "Help!" he cried, running toward the village. "Wolf! WOLF!"

Out came the villagers in great excitement. But when they arrived, there was no wolf. Just a naughty boy laughing!

It was so funny that he did it again a few days later. "Wolf!" he shouted. "WOLF!" And the good villagers came out again--and again the boy laughed.

But one evening, as the sun was setting, a wolf really did creep out of the shadows and begin attacking the sheep! "Wolf!" the boy cried, this time in real terror. "WOLF!"

But the villagers didn't listen to his cries. The wolf ate all the sheep he wanted--and what's more, some say, he even ate the boy!

The moral of the story is: "Liars are not believed even when they speak the truth."


Some words to talk about:

  • creep: walk quietly, so as not to be seen
  • moral: lesson about being a good person
  • naughty: badly behaved
  • shepherd: person who takes care of sheep
  • terror: great fear
  • villagers: people who live in a very small town, called a village


Choose the best answer. Correct answers are in the first comment below.

  1. Why did the shepherd boy play a trick on the villagers?
    A. Because he wanted to catch a wolf.
    B. Because he wanted to make them laugh.
    C. Because he was bored.

  2. What did the shepherd boy do each time the villagers ran out to help him?
    A. He caught the wolf.
    B. He laughed.
    C. he said he was sorry.

  3. How many times did the shepherd boy call for help?
    A. one time
    B. two times
    C. three times

  4. Why did the boy call out for help a third time?
    A. Because there really was a wolf.
    B. Because he wanted to laugh again.
    C. Because he knew his joke was funny.

  5. What happened to the sheep?
    A. The wolf ate all of them that he wanted.
    B. The villagers took all of them that he wanted.
    C. The boy gave them back to his master.


These questions do not have "right" or "wrong" answers. They only ask your opinion.

  1. Why did the shepherd boy think his "joke" was funny? Was he right?
  2. Why do you think the villagers came out the second time the boy called for help?
  3. Why do you think the villagers didn't come out the third time the boy called for help?

1 comment:

  1. Answers:
    Questions to Answer: 1. C; 2. B; 3. C; 4. A; 5. A

    Questions to Think About do not have any single correct answer. However, any answers you give should be supported by what you read or by things you know ("I think... because...").