December 15, 2013
from March 21, 2012
The Boy Who Cried Wolf takes place back in the days when child labor laws were nonexistent and it was ok for kids to play with guns. In fact, any kid over the age of nine who hadn’t shot a charging bull at ten paces was considered a wuss. The fable was written by Aesop way back around 600 AD. Aesop was popularly known as the biggest bullshitter in all of Greece.
The boy, whom I will call Arnold for no particular reason, was a shepherd. His father was a shepherd and his father’s father was a shepherd. What were his mother and his mother’s mother? Sexually frustrated. And why not? Their husbands were all day long out in the fields with the sheep.
So Arthur was another in a long line of shepherds and by the time he was ten years old his father had enough of watching sheep- it was a dead-end job- and it was Arthur’s turn to watch the flock. So he watched the sheep. He watched the sheep graze. He watched the sheep sleep. He watched the sheep stand around and bleat. He watched the sheep watching him. It was boring. Eventually he started to hallucinate that the sheep spoke to him. “Arnold,” they said, “what are you doing with your life? Why don’t you go out and meet a nice Jewish girl?” For some reason he daydreamed that the sheep were Yiddish.
Soon, after an intolerable amount of time spent staring at the wooly beasts, very nearly 15 minutes, Arnold was bored. The Boy Who Cried Wolf is the first recorded case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Arnold figured that if he cried out that a wolf was attacking the flock all the villagers would come running. Crying wolf was actually his second idea. He rejected the idea of crying duck.
Arnold looked around, took a deep breath, and texted into his iPhone “OMG! EMFBI but HLAC a wolf is attacking the sheep! IDBI! WTF?” Typical kid. As you would imagine, no one came.
Arnold was still bored so next time he simply yelled out “Wolf! A wolf is attacking the sheep! Come quick! Bring me a soda!” This time all the villagers came running because the whole village depended on the sheep for their livelihood. Villages were very sheep intensive back then. In fact, there was an era in history when sheep were considered currency, just as good as gold coins. However, with a loaf of bread costing three sheep, it was a pretty unwieldy operation to go shopping and people soon went back to coins, which could be carried much more easily in a purse than a dozen sheep.
The villagers arrived and there was no wolf, which made them very relived. They looked around, counted the sheep (which put not a single one of them to sleep) and complimented Arnold that it must have been his yelling that scared off the wolf and saved the flock. The villagers soon left and went back to whatever the heck they were doing. No TV, no wifi, what were they doing anyway?
However, far from being happy with all the attention, Arnold was very upset. Not a single villager brought him the soda he had asked for. He decided he’d try it again.
“Wolf! A wolf is attacking the sheep! Come quick! And don’t forget my soda this time! I want a Mountain Dew! Seriously, I want a soda! And oh yeah, there’s a wolf attacking the sheep too!” See what makes this a fairy tale? Who would ever intentionally drink a Mountain Dew?
The villagers came rushing back, guns at the ready, pitchforks sharpened, and would you believe it? By the time they got to the field there was not a wolf in sight, only the sheep and Arnold, looking very smug and maybe just a bit thirsty.
“Arnold,” they asked, “are you sure you saw a wolf?”
“I cannot tell a lie. Sure I saw a wolf.”
Unfortunately, Arnold had a bit of a reputation around the village. People still remembered the time he claimed to have been abducted by a UFO to avoid his chores.
“Can you describe the wolf?” Seriously, this was the best the villagers could come up with.
“He had big teeth and furry ears.”
“Just like my grandmother!” exclaimed Little Red Riding Hood, and since everyone knew that she was still traumatized ever since the time a cross-dressing wolf ate her grandmother the villagers dropped the subject and went home. And of course, they once again failed to bring Arnold his soda.
Arnold waited an hour to give the village time to cool down and he even fell asleep for a few minutes (in which time a wolf really did devour three of the sheep) and when he woke up, he screamed at the top of his lungs “Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!”
The villagers didn’t come running quite so fast this time. In fact, many of them didn’t come at all. A few of them were at Arnold’s house giving his father an earful about what a miserable son he had, but still, some came running to the field and when they saw no wolf and Arnold rolling around on the ground laughing like a loon, it crossed the minds of more than one villager that they had found the new village idiot.
Silently, wordlessly, but with a great deal of glaring and evil looks, the villagers trudged back home.
It wasn’t long before Arnold got bored. Sure, it was fun for a while, but what did crying wolf get him? Nothing, not even a Mountain Dew. Being full of energy and ADHD, It wasn’t long before Arnold found new diversions, like throwing rocks at some frogs and pulling the wings off flies. It was while he was torturing a small snake that he looked up and saw- and this is going to be quite a shock so hold onto your hats- a wolf stalking the sheep.
“WOOOOLF! There’s a wolf after the sheep! For realz this time! And no, ‘realz’ is not a typo!”
Hearing yet another Arnold wolf alert, none of the villagers bothered to investigate, except for one kindly old man, the village elder, the wisest man in the area. He went to fields, saw the wolf, and raised his gun. With one sure pull of the trigger, he let his bullet fly and his aim was sure and true. It flew into the field, a full ten feet to the left of the wolf, and right into Arnold’s chest.
Satisfied, the wise old man returned to the village, secure in the knowledge that they might have lost a few sheep, but no one likes a smart ass.
The moral of the story? Undiagnosed ADHD can be dangerous for a young child. Have your child screened before being allowed to tend sheep.
Can you stand more?
Read My Memories of Cinderella here.