There once was a shepherd boy who sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, “Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!” The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.
“Don’t cry ‘wolf’, shepherd boy,” said the villagers, “when there’s no wolf!”
They went grumbling back down the hill. Later, the boy sang out again, “Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!” To his delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away. When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said,
“Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don’t cry ‘wolf’ when there is…
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