Once upon a time there was a little shepherd who tended his flock on the top of the hill. He was very bored and for fun it occurred to him to play a prank on the villagers. After taking a deep breath, the little shepherd shouted:

“Wolf, wolf!” There is a wolf chasing the sheep.

The villagers came running to help the shepherd boy and chase away the wolf. But when they reached the top of the hill they found no wolf. The little shepherd laughed when he saw his angry faces.

“Don’t cry wolf, when there isn’t any wolf,” said the villagers, and went angrily down the hill.

After a few hours, the little shepherd shouted again:

“Wolf, wolf!” The wolf is chasing the sheep.

The villagers ran to help him again, but seeing that there was no wolf they told the shepherd sternly:

“Don’t yell wolf when there isn’t a wolf, do it when a wolf is actually chasing the sheep.”

But the shepherd boy was still rolling around with laughter as he watched the villagers come down the hill once more.

Later, the shepherd boy saw a wolf near his flock. Startled, he yelled as loud as he could:

“Wolf, wolf!” The wolf chases the sheep.

But the villagers thought he was trying to trick them again, and this time they didn’t come to his aid. The little shepherd cried inconsolably as he watched the wolf run away with all his sheep.

At sunset, the little shepherd returned to the village and told everyone:

“The wolf appeared on the hill and has escaped with all my sheep.” Why didn’t they want to help me?

Then the villagers replied:

—We would have helped you, just as we did before; but no one believes a liar even when he tells the truth.

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