During the month of February, 36 bloggers are coming together to participate in The Cheap Reader’s Project Fairy Tale Event! If you love fairy tales and their retellings, you should definitely head on over to the Master Post and click on the links to the variety of fairy tale posts available to you! This is one exciting event and I am pumped to start off my portion of the event today!
I chose the tale The Boy Who Cried Wolf. When I was a child, I LOVED Aesop’s Fables–particularly, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I was always enchanted with the boy in this tale, but TERRIFIED by the wolf. I would have nightmares all the time about wolves because of this fable. If you read my short story The Wolf at the End of the Hall, you’ll know what I mean. Yet, for some masochistic reason, I kept coming back to this story.
Today, I’m going to give you my review//summary of the original tale.
First off, you should know that this tale in its original form is extremely short and to-the-point. The author wastes no time on frills and major bits of dialogue. It is succinct, concise, and yet poignant. In case you’re not familiar with The Boy Who Cried Wolf, the summary of the tale goes something like this:
Once upon a time, there was a shepherd boy who kept sheep a little ways off from the village in which he lived. The boy grew bored easily and one day decided to play a trick on the villagers below. Running down the hill, he cried out, “Wolf! Wolf! There’s a wolf after my flock!” The gracious and concerned villagers ran up the hill to the field to find that there was no wolf. The next day, the wicked boy played his trick again, screaming, “Wolf! Wolf”. Again, the villagers came running to help him. Again, there was no wolf. One day, a wolf really did come to eat the shepherd boy’s sheep and he cried out to the villagers to help him. No one came, because they felt sure it was another of the boy’s wicked tricks. The shepherd boy lost all his sheep because of his mischief and lies.
“That is the kind of thing that happens to people who lie: even when they do tell the truth they will not be believed.” (quoted from the original tale)
Fables are an important part of a child’s development (in my opinion), because they are neatly packaged proverbs that espouse a moral virtue. In The Boy Who Cried Wolf, that moral is this: People who lie will not be trusted when they tell the truth. Because children are so egotistical by nature when they are very young, many of them will lie to avoid punishment and to get out of trouble. Some lie just for fun like this boy. If a child continually lies to their parents and friends, those parents and friends will be less likely to trust them in the future.
When I was a small child, one of my many faults was lying about foods I didn’t care for. If I didn’t like something, I told people I was allergic to it. Many adults, being concerned about allergies, would react with sympathy and try to help me avoid those food choices. Thankfully, I QUICKLY grew out of that wicked habit (probably in part due to fables like these that scared me to death). I’m glad I did, too, because as an adult, I have 6 very real food allergies. Thanks, karma.
What was your favorite fairy tale as a child? If you, like me, loved The Boy Who Cried Wolf, do you remember a specific time in your childhood where the moral of this tale applied?
Stay tuned all throughout the month of February for more Project Fairy Tale posts on Unearthing Words! Be on the lookout for posts on the following:
//1// Betsy Who Cried Wolf! by Gail Carson Levine and illustrated by Scott Nash
//2// The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Rob M. Worley and illustrated by Will Meugniot
//3// Goldilocks on Management: The Boy Who Cried Wolf– Basic Lesson: Do Not Squander Your Political Capital by Gloria Gilbert Mayer & Thomas Mayer
//4// MOVIE: Manga Aesop Monogatari (Aesop’s Fables is the English Title) by Toei Animation (one of my absolute favorite movies EVER growing up).
Again, check out the Master Post if you’d like to see other Project Fairy Tale entrants and their links! This is going to be one fun event!