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J. H. Stickney

The Shepherd's Boy and the Wolf

A MAN who had a fine flock of Sheep put them all into a field, and hired a Boy to take care of them, while he worked near by with his Men.

The Sheep went nibbling the grass all day, up and down the hills and along the brook; and all that the Boy had to do was to look out for the Wolf, and see that he did hot come prowling into the field.

After a while the Boy began to wish that something would happen, it was so tiresome staying there all alone, with no one to speak to and nothing to do. He wished he could be with the Men in the next field, or that they could come and stay with him. All at once he thought to himself, "I will make them think the Wolf has come. That will be great fun."

So he called out as loudly as he could, "Help! help! The Wolf!" and all the Men came running up.

When they found it was only a joke, they laughed, and went back to their work.

On the next day the Boy tried the same trick again. As before, the Men dropped their mattocks and spades, for fear there might be danger, and ran to the help of the Boy. He only laughed at them for their pains, and this time they did not relish the joke. Still the Boy did not give it up. Again he shouted "Wolf! Wolf!" till the Men took no notice of him when he called them, no matter how loudly or how long he shouted.

After a while, the Wolf did get into the field. Then in real terror the Boy called and called: "Pray do come and help me. The Wolf is killing the sheep. The Wolf! the Wolf!" But no one gave heed to his cries. Finding only a terrified coward in care of the flock, the Wolf left few of them uninjured.