Boy Who Cried Wolf

The boy had just chopped his third piece of firewood when the wolf appeared,
Snarling as it circled the wood-bound encampment,
Seeing the wolf, the boy hopped atop the stump of a fresh felled tree,
And cried out for help,
Upon hearing the boy’s cries carried across the hill, the townsfolk rushed to his rescue,
Arriving just in time to chase the wayward wolf away,

Later in the week — as the boy resumed his chipper chopping — the wolf returned,
So the boy cried out again,
From atop his steadfast stump,
And again, the townsfolk came to his aid,

But the wolf returned once more,
So the boy cried out anew,
But by now the people had grown tired of this routine,
They had better things to do;
Had their own problems to deal with,
So they told themselves the boy would be okay,
That he needed to learn how to deal with his own problems,
That he had been asking for it by going up there again,

When the boy didn’t return later that day the townsfolk pretended not to notice,
When his parents came looking later that night they claimed ignorance,
Denying any knowledge of the boy or his whereabouts,
After a few weeks of dedicated denial they began to believe their own deceits,
Altering their memory of the boy:
He had always been trouble;
A drain on the townsfolk,
In fact — he had cried “wolf” even when there wasn’t one,
Just to waste their time,

The townsfolk decided there was a lesson to be learned from all of this.