Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

You surely know Aesop's fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." The tragic ending of the shepherd boy and the flock is used to teach us not to lie. However, this short story has always irritated me: there is something wrong with the moral of it.

I do not know your experience, but here, in this lovely corner of the world, shepherds hardly own flocks. They are usually hired hands and the protagonist in the fable is also depicted as one. OK, the boy lied and got eaten, but so did the flock. Now, whose flock was it? By not believing him, whose property perished?

Whenever I hear cries of help from industries in trouble after the recent economic downturn, I can not help but remember Aesop's tale. Some scream and shout, some refuse to believe because they have been lied and ripped off so many times. Before rejecting help to those who are presumably in need, it is worth thinking about what happens to the flock.

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