Our task for Fables was to choose our favorite fable and re-write the ending to give a new meaning to the story. One of my favorite fables is The Shepherd Boy. I really like how it emphasizes telling the truth and what happens when you lie. I think it is a great fable for young children to understand the consequences of lying. Here is the original fable:
A Shepherd Boy tended his master’s Sheep near a dark forest not far from the village. Soon he found life in the pasture very dull. All he could do to amuse himself was to talk to his dog or play on his shepherd’s pipe. One day as he sat watching the Sheep and the quiet forest, and thinking what he would do should he see a Wolf, he thought of a plan to amuse himself. His Master had told him to call for help should a Wolf attack the flock, and the Villagers would drive it away. So now, though he had not seen anything that even looked like a Wolf, he ran toward the village shouting at the top of his voice, “Wolf! Wolf!” As he expected, the Villagers who heard the cry dropped their work and ran in great excitement to the pasture. But when they got there they found the Boy doubled up with laughter at the trick he had played on them. A few days later the Shepherd Boy again shouted, “Wolf! Wolf!” Again the Villagers ran to help him, only to be laughed at again. Then one evening as the sun was setting behind the forest and the shadows were creeping out over the pasture, a Wolf really did spring from the underbrush and fall upon the Sheep. In terror the Boy ran toward the village shouting “Wolf! Wolf!” But though the Villagers heard the cry, they did not run to help him as they had before. “He cannot fool us again,” they said. The Wolf killed a great many of the Boy’s sheep and then slipped away into the forest.
Here is the new ending, but I have to say I feel like a traitor rewriting this fable since I love it the way it is, but here goes a different ending…..
Then one evening as the sun was setting behind the forest and the shadows were creeping out over the pasture, a Wolf really did spring from the underbrush and fall upon the Sheep. In terror the Boy ran toward the village shouting “Wolf! Wolf!” But though the Villagers heard the cry, they did not run to help him as they had before. The boy saw that the villagers were not coming to help him and the wolf was getting closer to him and his sheep. He was afraid as he did not think he could defeat this wolf. In desperation the boy looked around and then looked at his crook. He picked up the crook and struck the wolf over and over again. The wolf ran off hurt and beaten. The boy’s confidence in himself soared and he never needed to call the villagers again for help as he knew he could defeat any animal that threatened him or his sheep. Word of the boy’s bravery spread throughout the forest and the animals thought twice before coming to that shepherd’s flock.
The moral of the story is to believe in yourself.