Where does the phrase “to cry wolf” come from and What does “cry wolf” mean?

There are as many versions of Aesop’s Fables as there are publishers who have reprinted them with added tales from other sources.

The version from which we took this story of “The Shepherd-boy and the Wolf” runs as follows:

A shepherd-boy who kept his flock a little way from a village for some time amused himself with this sport: he would call loudly on the villagers to come to his help, crying, “Wolf! wolf! the wolves are among my lambs!” Twice, three times the villagers were startled, and hurried out, and went back laughed at, when finally the wolves really did come. And as the wolves made way with the flock, and he ran crying for help, they supposed him only at his old joke, and paid no attention. And so he lost all his flock.

It only shows that people who tell lies get this for their pains, that nobody believes them when they speak the truth. In other words, don’t cry wolf.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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