The Boy and the Wolf
Louis Untermeyer

A boy employed to guard the sheep
Despised his work. He like to sleep.
And when a lamb was lost, he'd shout,
"Wolf! Wolf! The wolves are all about!"

The neighbors searched from noon till nine,
But of the beast there was no sign,
Yet "Wolf!" he cried next morning when
The villagers came out again.

One evening around six o'clock
A real wolf fell upon the flock.
"Wolf!" yelled the boy. "A wolf indeed!"
But no one paid him any heed.

Although he screamed to wake the dead,
"He's fooled us every time," they said,
And let the hungry wolf enjoy
His feast of mutton, lamb--and boy.

The moral's this: The man who's wise
Does not defend himself with lies.
Liars are not believed, forsooth,
Even when liars tell the truth.

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