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Group Four

31 A man argues

32 The deer misjudges

33 The dying farmer

34 The baby goat

35 The pigeons choose

36 The big trees

37 A mean dog

38 The selfish horse

39 A boy cries wolf

40 The fox outwits the crow

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39. A Boy Cries Wolf

Once there was a foolish boy
Whose job it was to guard some sheep
        In case a hungry wolf might come
        To pounce upon them in their sleep.

The owners told him: If a wolf
Should come, be sure to give a cry
        So we can come and save the sheep
        And give that wolf a swift goodbye.

The foolish boy grew bored one night,
And cried out Wolf! Wolf! just for jokes,
        And farmers came from far and wide,
        But left disgusted by his hoax.

But then at midnight that boy spied
A savage wolf about to strike,
         Wolf! Wolf! he screamed, but no one came
        And sheep and shepherd died alike.

MORAL: Those who enjoy making fools of others often make fools of themselves.

from the book Prayers and Fables and the forthcoming book Aesop's Best: 80 Fables in Verse by William Cleary



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