The Storm and The Rainbow

A Reformasi Diary by Sabri Zain


The boy who cried wolf
May 25th, 1999
 
 

Once upon a time, there was a shepherd boy who looked after the goats in a prosperous little village. Actually, he wasn’t always a shepherd - he was once the Chief Editor of a large mainstream newspaper. But the stocks and shares he had accumulated took a nose-dive during the economic crisis and he lost all he had - including his job. Not being able to write to save his life, herding goats was the only job he could find.

Anyway, he was getting bored out of his wits as he sat on the hillside watching the village goats. To amuse himself he took a great breath and cried out, “Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the goats!”

The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

“Don't cry ‘wolf’, shepherd boy,” said the villagers, “when there's no wolf!” They went grumbling back down the hill.

But the boy just rolled on the ground laughing. “Hee hee … I haven’t had that much fun since I wrote my last editorial!” The little mousedeer Sang Kancil, who was watching from behind a nearby bush, just shook his head and thought, “What a dirty liar! A real wolf will come by one day and that’ll teach him a lesson …”

And true enough, the very next day, the boy saw a real wolf prowling about his herd. Alarmed, he leapt to his feet and was just about to cry “Wolf! Wolf!” when the wolf pounced on him and pinned him to the ground with his sharp claws.

“Don’t call those villagers, boy,” the wolf growled at the terrified boy. “I’m here to help you. I saw how much fun you had with those village idiots yesterday. Just do what I say and I will let you live. Not only that, you’ll have some more fun too!” “W-w-what d-d-do you w-w-want me to d-d-do?” the quivering boy asked.

The wolf let the boy go. “Just cry out ‘Sodomy! Sodomy!’ tomorrow morning and, when the villagers come to help, I will sneak into the village and steal some chickens. And you can have a good laugh!”

So the very next morning, the boy took a great breath and cried out, “Sodomy! Sodomy! Someone is sodomising the goats!”

The villagers came running up the hill but when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no evidence of sodomy at all. Every single DNA expert was consulted, every single orifice was medically examined, every single stained mattress in the village was tested - but not a single goat was found to have been sodomised. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

“Don't cry ‘sodomy’, shepherd boy,” said the villagers, “when there’s no sodomy!” They went grumbling back down to the village and really felt buggered when they suddenly found all their chickens gone.

The little mousedeer again saw all that had happened and thought woefully. “What stupid people! Who asked them to believe such a silly story anyway?!”

The wolf returned to the boy, his stomach full and the feathers still sticking out of his mouth. “Wasn’t that fun?!” the wolf said in between burps. “Why don’t we try something else tomorrow ……”

So the very next morning, the boy took a great breath and cried out, “CIA agents! Foreigners jealous of our success! Jews! Westerners out to recolonise us!”

The villagers came running up the hill but when they arrived at the top of the hill, no matter how hard they looked, they could not find a single CIA agent or foreigner or Jew or Westerner in sight. The boy shrieked in laughter at the grumbling villagers. Imagine the anger of the villagers when they returned to the village, this time finding their cattle gone!

The little mousedeer again saw all that had happened and could only sigh. “When will these people learn?!”

The wolf returned to the boy, licking his chops. “Beef was always my favourite! I have another great idea for your performance tomorrow..”

So the very next morning, the boy took a great breath and cried out, “Reformists! Rapists! Rioters! Looters!”

Again the villagers came running up the hill but when they arrived at the top of the hill, there were no women raped, no buildings burned, no shops looted - it was a scene of pastoral bliss.

“Don't cry ‘riot’, shepherd boy," the villagers said to the grinning boy, “when there's no riot!” They went grumbling back down to the village and they themselves nearly started a riot when they found all their sheep missing.

The little mousedeer could only shake his head at disbelief. “Don’t believe everything you hear - especially if it comes from a local newspaper editor!”

The very next morning, the boy returned to his herd of goats and was shocked to find the wolf attacking his herd and eating his goats one by one! “What are you doing?!” the boy cried in alarm. “Sorry kid,” the wolf said, as he finished off the last goat. “There are no more chickens or cattle or sheep left in the village - and your goats are the only food left here.”

“In fact, I’m still not full,” the wolf said as he prowled slowly and menacingly towards the quivering boy. “I think I’ll have you for dessert!”

Alarmed, the boy shouted at the top of his voice “Wolf! Wolf! There really IS a wolf here! Help!”

But no one came. The villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn't come.

The wolf pounced on the fleeing boy and pinned him to the ground with his claws. And just moments before the wolf was about to tear his body to pieces with his long teeth and sharp claws, the little mousedeer ran up to the boy and taunted him “Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!”

And the boy died a horrible death. And the villagers swore never to trust the local press again. And the little mousedeer had the last laugh.

PREVIOUS CHAPTER

INDEX