In a village on a hillside lived a boy named Peter, whose parents were sheep farmers. Everybody in the village had to take turns looking after the sheep. At 10, Peter was regarded as old enough to take his turn at shepherding.
However, Peter found it very dull on the hillside with only sheep for company. So he’d look for ways to amuse himself: running up rocks, climbing trees and even chasing sheep. Unfortunately, he still felt bored. Then a brilliant idea crossed his mind. He climbed to the top of the tallest tree, shouting towards the village: “Wolf! Wolf! Wooolf! Woohoolf!”
One of the villagers heard him and informed all the other people, who got together and armed themselves with axes and hoes. They ran out of the village to chase away the wolf and save their herd. However, when they got there, all they found was Peter perched high up in his tree with the sheep grazing peacefully nearby. Everyone was very annoyed with him.
For a while life went on again as usual. As time went by, people forgot about the incident. Until one day, Peter repeated the same trick, enjoying the attention it garnered. He picked up some sticks, and running through where the sheep were grazing, he started hitting the sticks together, shouting: “Wolf! Wolf! Wooolf! Woohoolf! Woohoohoooolf!”
Sure enough, somebody in the village heard, and before long the men all came running up the hill armed with their sticks and axes and hoes and shovels, ready to chase away the big bad wolf. Seeing people running nervously, Peter, sitting on a big rock, burst into laughter.
That night, Peter was given a severe telling-off for his wrongdoing. People in the village were moaning about Peter and his nasty tricks, but before long things settled down again, and life resumed its normal uneventful course.
However, one afternoon when Peter was in the fields with the sheep, he noticed some of them start bleating, running all over, and making an ever louder racket. Peter got worried and decided to climb a tree to see what was going on.
To his astonishment, what he saw almost made him fall out of the tree. A big hairy wolf was chasing the sheep and snapping at their tails. For a few seconds, Peter was still and speechless, helpless to act. Then he started shouting: “Woolf! Woolof! Woohoohooloof!”
In the village, an old man heard the shouting. “Oh no, not that Peter again,” he said, with his head shaking. “What’s going on?” asked another villager. “It’s that Peter again, he just can’t help himself.”
This time, nobody believed that there was really a wolf, so nobody got their hoe out, or their axe, or their shovel or rushed up the hillside. When the wolf really attacked, Peter rang his bell crying “Wolf!” but the men thought that he was just playing a trick again, so they did not come out. The wolf took one of the fattest sheep. Not until very much later that afternoon did people see dead sheep’s bodies strewn all over the hillside. The villagers found out there really had been a wolf this time.
Finally, Peter learned his lesson. If you always tell lies, people will eventually refuse to trust you, so that when you tell the truth for a change, and when you really need people to believe you, they probably won’t.
moan (v.) 抱怨
They moan on a lot about money.
resume (v.) 重新開始
The search is expected to resume early today.
normal (adj.) 正常的
These little setbacks are a normal part of life.
uneventful (adj.) 平凡的
The return journey was uneventful with the car running perfectly.
astonishment (n.) 驚訝
She was wide-eyed with astonishment.
speechless (adj.) 無言的
She was speechless with rage.
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