Sunday, November 11, 2007

Crying Wolf

As someone who has gotten into the habit of publicly and pratically perpetually predicting my own impending nervous breakdown without yet producing any significant signs of the breakdown, I've become kind of fascinated by the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Sometime last week, I was watching a movie or TV show (I can't remember at all what it might have been) and one of the characters mentioned the story and the other one said, "The moral of that story is that a liar won't be believed."

And he's right--that's no doubt the intended (and universally understood) moral of that story. But I think in clinging to that idea as the story's only relevant lesson, we've lost sight of an important point: There's a less hungry wolf at the end of this story. No matter how many times the boy lied (or joked or exaggerrated--he was really playing a prank that required a little untruth, right?) about being eaten, he was still eaten in the end. So a secondary moral to the story might be "repeatedly lying about getting eaten makes you no less eaten when you finally are telling the truth."

1 comment:

  1. it also sets you up to be eaten...easier prey