Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Wolf that Taught the Girl(s) and Boy(s) To Cry Wolf

Many readers may recall the old fairy-tale about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.  Despite the temptation to call this “The Old Farm-woman Who Cried Shift”, as a modern-day analogue, I didn’t feel that conveyed the depth of deception that’s at root.

Imagine you are a wolf and you are determined to get into a town and get as many juicy humans as possible.  You know from previous experience that if you wander out of the forest and towards town, someone will see you and everyone will go running inside and bolt their doors.  What to do….you might be lucky to get even one human and the juicy soul inside it.

Now being an ingenious wolf as you know you are, you need to think about how you’re going to get as many humans as possible, even if you have to stuff them in a sack to take back to the forest to eat later.

First, you know that the humans are often watching their sheep that graze in the meadows between the forest where you live, and the town where the humans are.  So, you know if you appear as a sheep, the humans won’t run away in fear.  What do you do?  You snatch a sheep one day, and the girl watching the flock runs to the town and cries “wolf!” and everyone runs inside and locks their doors.  Then, you take the sheep back to the forest and shear off its fur, and make a coat of it to wear so that you now look like the sheep. 

The next day, you go to the edge of the forest dressed like the sheep, and you wander into the flock pretending to be – and looking like – the sheep.  You watch as the girl shepherd moves among the flock, and when she has her back turned, you take off your sheep’s clothing and stand up as a wolf.  The girl turns around and sees you, screams in fright, and runs towards the town, screaming “Wolf!! Wolf!! Wolf!!”  Everyone runs inside and locks their doors. You put your sheep’s clothing back on and wander to the edge of the forest, then quickly disappear into it, where you go back and have a good night’s sleep, knowing the humans are all quaking in fear in their houses.  You know that they’ll soon come out of their houses and find there was no wolf to be found.

A few days later, you do the same thing.  As expected, the girl runs into town screaming “Wolf!! Wolf!! Wolf!!” and the people still react in fear, and go into their houses.  A few humans, including a couple of her friends, don’t go inside though and keep a look-out for the wolf.  Nothing.

You do this a few days later, and this time a couple of other children go looking outside of town to see if there really IS a wolf, and lo and behold, they see you.  You see they have noticed you, and you beckon to them not to worry, it’ll be all right.  But you can see they too are frightened.  They run back to town too, crying “Wolf!! Wolf!!”. 

You do this again and again, and soon the humans realize no sheep have been taken, and they go about their business, but more of the children see what is going on.  The older humans just laugh or scold the girl and the other children brave enough to say “yes, yes, there IS a wolf out there!!”.  Soon they don’t even bother paying any attention, rolling their eyes when they hear the cries of “Wolf!! Wolf!!”

Then you know it’s time.  On this occasion, you take a huge sack, a hypodermic needle to make sure the humans that struggle can be immobilized, and you set out for town.  This time, the girl goes screaming “Wolf!! Wolf!!” but no-one pays any attention.  You get to the edge of town and start taking your prey.  In the sack they go, one at a time, their cries soon muffled by the effects of the sleeping potion.  Of the few that manage to get a shout past their lips, the others still pay no attention; they’ve heard it before.  Before you know it, you have more than half the town stuffed in your sack, and as they say in Brisbane, “no wukkas for the winter!”.  You head back to your home in the forest, knowing you won’t be hungry for a good, long while.

© 2012 dondep

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