Inspiration & Credit: https://childhood-stories.com  Tamil stories

Once upon a time, in a quaint village, a young shepherd in his preteen years was tasked with tending to a flock of sheep. As the sheep peacefully grazed, the shepherd found himself sitting idly under a sturdy tree, battling boredom. To amuse himself, he decided to engage in a bit of playfulness and shouted, "A fox is coming! It will kill and eat the sheep!" Startled by this alarming cry, the children from the neighborhood, who were playing nearby, rushed towards the source of the commotion.

Upon reaching the shepherd, they discovered that he was sitting under the tree, seemingly unconcerned and laughing mischievously. Puzzled and a bit annoyed, the assembled boys cautioned him about the grave consequences of raising false alarms and then left the scene.

However, not long after, the shepherd repeated the same alarming cry, exclaiming once more, "A fox is coming! It will kill and eat the sheep!" The concerned youths hurried to the spot, only to find the shepherd once again ridiculing them and laughing. Their patience exhausted, they scolded him sternly, warning, "Never play such a deceitful trick again. When a real danger arises, no one will come to your aid."

Despite their warning, the shepherd, driven by his past antics, cried wolf once more. This time, the youths, believing it to be another prank, decided not to respond. Unfortunately, on this occasion, a fox did indeed arrive, causing the sheep to scatter in fear. The fox then left, and the sheep survived, but the flock was in disarray.

Filled with regret and sorrow, the shepherd made his way to a nearby hill and sat beneath a tree, crying inconsolably. Concerned for their missing child, his parents, accompanied by villagers, initiated a search and eventually found him on the hillside, weeping bitterly. Inquiring about his distress, the parents and villagers listened as he recounted, "A fox came, and scattered the sheep. I raised the alarm and called for help, but none of you came."

The village elder, with wisdom, remarked, "People do not place their trust in liars. Even when a liar speaks the truth, others find it difficult to believe. Let us return home now. Tomorrow, at dawn, we will organize a search party to locate the scattered sheep." With these words, the group headed back home.

The lessons learned from this story are as follows:

1.    Falsehood erodes trust and can lead to dire consequences.

2.    A reputation for dishonesty can undermine credibility, even when telling the truth.