The Boy Who Cried Wolf Summary

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Even a white lie can get you in trouble! That's the basic premise behind Aesop's fable ''The Boy Who Cried Wolf.'' In this lesson, we'll break down the story of the Shepherd Boy and the trouble he causes.

A Little White Lie

Remember when you were a little kid out playing in your front yard? Your best friend is swinging the baseball bat and you're on the pitcher's mound, when all of a sudden, oops! A ball goes sailing past your pal and through your mom's kitchen window.

Before she even makes it to the front door, you know you're going to be in big trouble. Your friends run off and you're left to deal with the consequences. Your mom appears at the door and before you know it, the words, 'It wasn't me!' are escaping from your lips. Of course, your mom knows better, and you think to yourself, what could a little white lie hurt?

The subject of lying is at the center of the fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Fables are short stories told to convey a life lesson. Aesop, the storyteller behind hundreds of fables, used animals in human situations to teach readers those lessons. The Boy Who Cried Wolf differs slightly in that animals are a part of the story, but the main character is a young shepherd boy. Here's a summary of Aesop's fable.

Summarizing The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Having a job as a shepherd boy would probably involve some pretty quiet, solitary, even boring days. That's where the Shepherd Boy in this tale has found himself. He's watching his master's sheep and trying to entertain himself in the company of his dog or by playing a tune on his flute.

At some point, his imagination gets the best of him and he starts wondering what would happen if a wolf were to appear out of the woods near his shepherd's post. Remembering the words of his master, he cries, 'Wolf! Wolf!'

The nearby villagers come running to see what the trouble is and to help the boy. Of course, you already know that the Shepherd Boy didn't see a wolf, so when the villagers arrive, all he can do is have a good laugh. Thinking himself pretty clever, the boy repeats the action again a few days later. Again, the villagers show up to help the boy, only to discover they've been tricked once more.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account