Although he was a young boy, the shepherd had a big job.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

There was a young boy who lived in a village. He wasn't very old, but he had an important job. He was a shepherd, and his job was to guard the sheep from danger, especially wolves.

The shepherd boy also had to make sure the sheep got plenty of food and exercise. Every day, in order to give the sheep the exercise they needed, the boy took them to a nearby valley.

Once they had walked there, the sheep would graze on the tasty green grass that grew in the valley. The villagers trusted the shepherd to take good care of the sheep.

The shepherd boy wasn't really all alone. The village people worked nearby. If a wolf ever did attack, the people could run to the rescue.

The villagers counted on the shepherd boy to do his job. They never felt like they had to check on him. They trusted him to do what he was supposed to do.

Every day, the shepherd faithfully watched the sheep from his lookout post. He could also see the people hard at work. Some days they worked at their jobs in the village. Sometimes they did other chores.

For the shepherd boy, every day was the same. He looked at the sheep. They looked the same every day. Then he looked out at the forest. It looked the same, too.

The shepherd's job was very important, but it wasn't always exciting.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

While he was happy most days just to do his job, some days he wished that something exciting would happen.

In his whole life, the boy had never seen a wolf come near the sheep. In fact, he had never even seen a wolf! Some people told stories of hearing wolves howl in the forest, but the boy never heard any howling. Sometimes he even wondered if there really were any wolves.

One day the shepherd tried to make things more exciting. He thought, "Maybe I can play some games with the sheep." He planned his next day, and he smiled when he thought about the fun he would have.

The boy woke up bright and early the next morning. He ate his breakfast very quickly and then packed his bag for the day. He kissed his parents good-bye and hurried to take the sheep to the valley.

As soon as they reached the green grass in the valley, the shepherd boy tried to play games with the sheep. The sheep, however, had a different idea. They didn't want to play catch. They weren't interested in trying to bounce the ball. They didn't even want to try to kick the ball.

All the sheep wanted to do was eat the grass or take a nap. "This isn't any fun at all," thought the shepherd boy.

Downhearted, the shepherd boy walked slowly back to his lookout post. "Alas," thought the boy, "I just wanted to make things a little more exciting around here."

Then something caught the corner of his eye. He could tell the wind was blowing because it made the treetops move. "I wonder," he said, thinking out loud, "what is on the other side of those trees?"

The boy smiled to himself. Would it be so bad to pretend there was a wolf? He thought this would be a good joke.

To find out what happens next in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," continue to the next page.

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