The Boy who cried wolf
"To cry wolf" is an English idiomatic expression meaning "to raise false alarm" or "to make false claim".
The idiom was gotten from one of Aesop's fables titled; "The boy who cried wolf". The fable has been told for many centuries and it is a popular children story. I first came across this tale at the age of 7. As it was one of the numerous short stories in the English language textbook; "Mastering English".
Some of you reading this might have read or heard of the tale but for the sake of those who haven't I would like to narrate it.
There was a shepherd boy who got bored and decided to make a ruse about his flock being attacked by a wolf. He went to the nearby village and began shouting;
"Help! Help! Wolf!"
The villagers left what they were busy doing, to help the boy fend off the ravenous wolf from preying on his flock.
But when the villagers arrived at the spot where the flock were grazing, they found no wolf nor sign of wolf. The young boy began laughing and claimed it was a joke. The villagers were really upset but overlooked his act and termed it as being childish.
Some days later he repeated the same trick, this time around only half of the population of the village rushed to come to his rescue. Soon they regretted their decision as they realized that it was another prank by the Shepherd boy.
Days later, on one fateful evening as the shepherd boy was pasturing. He saw some yellow shining eyes from afar. The creature was moving close and suddenly it howled.
Fear descended upon the shepherd boy as he realized it was a Wolf, he began to run towards the village shouting
"Help! Help! Wolf! I swear; it is true!"
The villagers quickly recognize that he was the same shepherd boy who had tricked them on two occasions. They all concluded he was making another trick and they decided not to come to his aid.
Despite his pleas and swearing he wasn't able to convince any of the villagers.
When dawn came, he went to check on his flock, but unfortunately all his sheep have been devoured by the wolf and its pack.
The lesson in the story can be easily discerned. "A liar won't be believed even when he or she starts telling the truth".
It is an important lesson every child need to learn growing up, but the lesson of the story isn't only limited to kids but to every age group.
Uncle Sam has cried wolf many times in the past that even when he speaks the truth many people don't believe or they become skeptical.
"Uncle Sam" is a personification of the "United States government". The U.S government has made some claims that turned out to be lies. Thereby making some people doubt their credibility and therefore increase the rise in anti-americanism and anti-west.
For example; months before Russia invaded Ukraine. America had gotten intelligence report about the invasion and despite the cry and prediction of an invading force; many countries didn't believe it to be true including some of their European allies. Not until 24th of February when the invasion started.
As I was writing this article I was listening to a song of the same topic and title by the UK musician; "Passenger"
The song is written from the perspective of the shepherd boy, who was lamenting about how no one believes him now. Despite all his attempt to show that he is now saying the truth.
The lyrics of the song is so touching. The song ended as the Shepherd boy lament;
"And I could share only the truth from this day forth"
"But I know I will only ever be the boy who cried wolf"
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