The Boy Who Cried “No Wolf”

Once upon a time, there was a town beneath the hills where shepherds cried “wolf-wolf”. In this town, there lived a rich fat boy that liked to play pranks on his fellow townsfolks.

One day, when the shepherds in the hills cried “wolf-wolf”, like they used to, the rich fat boy stopped the townsfolks who were on their way up the hill to try and kill the wolf or at least scare it away, saying “There’s no wolf, no wolf, just some pranksters pulling your legs, go back to daddy’s farm and tend to your work”.

So the townsfolks went back to their businesses working for the rich man, and his fat kid laughed at them, calling them lazy, irresponsible and stupid.

The next day, there were shepherds in the hills shouting “wolf-wolf” again. The townsfolks laid down their work to run up the hill, like they used to. The rich fat boy stopped them again, saying “No wolf, no wolf, get back to work”, and the townsfolks did as the son of the landlord said.

This kept repeating for quite some time. As time went by, the shepherds’ cries “wolf-wolf” got fewer. The townsfolks got less meat in their diet, and with less protein, they had difficulties in keeping up production of vegetables. Soon famine hit the town, but the landlord and the rich fat boy took a steadily growing portion of the diminishing livestock and the townsfolks’ produce.

One day, the rich fat boy woke up realizing the shepherds’ cries “wolf-wolf” were gone, and the hills had been quiet for quite some days. Since he hated those cries intensely, he felt very happy. Only one thing was slightly challenging: He had to come up with a new prank. Much to his surprise, a precarious twist of things had it he wouldn’t have to after all:

Down the road, a stampede of townsfolks came running, crying “wolf-wolf”. The rich fat boy put on a rich fat smile, took position in the middle of the road stretching his arms to the sides, saying with a loud and overtly calm voice: “No wolf, there’s no wolf!”, but the townsfolks didn’t stop. They kept running, passing the rich fat boy as if they were chased by wild beasts.

Penticton Western News editorial cartoon by Ingrid Rice (

The rich fat boy was furious. Never had the townsfolks not done exactly as the son of the landlord told them. He turned around as they passed him, and then turned around again as to take a look at what all the fuss was about. He was quickly jumped by a pack of very hungry wolves, who had gotten used to feasting on the sheep, the goats and the shepherds in the hills, and were now forced to come down to the town in search of food.

The rich fat boy was still alive as the wolves started eating off his flesh, and townsfolks hiding high up in trees and houses could hear the fat boy repeating until his dying breath: “No wolf, no wolf!”

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