Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Man Who Cried Wolf

There was once a man who fancied himself a shepherd, not because he was particular adept at herding sheep or anything else he attempted in life, but his father was a shepherd so he figured he could pull it off. Lets call this man George

So he was given a pasture, the number of sheep that were his to tend remained a topic of dispute for some time, but he took his place. George had many tasks in his daily routine; one important one was to keep any wolves away from the herd. Though the shepherd that worked that pasture in the past, left instructions and warnings about a particular wolf, George just shrugged and enjoyed the sunshine.

One day something horrible happened, the wolf attacked. Sheep were lost and the pasture was never to be the same. Other shepherds from neighboring pastures offered assistance in hunting down the wolf. The sheep listened to Georges calls better then ever before.

As the hunt for the wolf began, George was continually annoyed by the barking of a junkyard dog that was on the land nearby. The dog annoying as he was, was well behind the fences of the junkyard and was relatively harmless to the sheep and others. But that didn’t matter to George; his annoyance with this dog was obvious. So one day, George tossed some wool into the junkyard, pointed it out and yelled WOLF! And though many were a bit confused as this didn’t look like a wolf or sound like a wolf, George said wolf so, they went along.

Soon the junkyard dog was gone, and George tried to take over the junkyard, where he still spends most of his time, as you see, the rats in the junkyard run wild and are very hard for George to control.

Days and days go buy as George ignores the sheep and chases the rats in circles, but every now and then he notices in the distance his sheep looking over to the pasture with the blue skies nearby. And just as the sheep begin to move closer and closer to that new pasture, George at the last minute always yells, “Wolf!”

The sheep go scrambling back into familiar pasture and watch for the wolf that hides somewhere, where George apparently can’t find him. This continued for some time, then something new happened, the sheep started to break up into smaller groups. They begin to ignore the warnings and the shepherd’s calls more and more. They no longer believed him or trusted him.

George was panicked, he was going to loose his entire flock. He thought and thought, and then he got an idea. Since the sheep felt safe in their own little shelters, he would scream out that a whole pack of wolves were going to attack them on there day of rest and relaxation right in their shelters.

Knowing they may not listen to him George had some rats friendly to him, run around and whisper the warning to the sheep. The sheep listened, pondered, looked at George, shook their heads and went back to their restful days.

Seems George the Shepard lost his sheep without the wolf ever leaving his den again.

It is rumored that the wolf spends his days watching George and just snickering, realizing George does more damage to the herd, then he the wolf could have ever dreamed of doing himself.


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