The Liar: A Fable

liar pants on fireA farmer hired a young man to guard his sheep at night. He told him: “It’s a really easy job. Just sit and watch the sheep.”

But the young man had a weakness: He loved to drink, and one night he drank too much wine, sat against a haystack in the center of the field, and fell asleep.

When he awoke at sunrise, he smelled like a sheep, and his head pounded like a thundercloud. After counting the flock, he threw up. Three sheep were missing, and he found wolf tracks in the mud!

The young shepherd went to the farmer and said, “A pack of wolves killed three sheep last night, but I couldn’t shoot them. My rifle jammed.”

“Hunt them down,” the farmer ordered him, “or pay me for the sheep that you lost.”

“I’ll find them,” the shepherd said meekly.

The wolf tracks led into the forest adjacent to the field, and the shepherd searched all day. As the sun was setting, he came upon a pack of wolves and raised his rifle.

“Don’t shoot us!” the leader of the pack pleaded. “What have we done to you?”

“You killed three of my sheep!” the shepherd said, his face red with anger.

“We did no such thing,” the wolf calmly replied. “We only eat wild animals, not sheep.”

And so, the shepherd, not having any proof that the wolves killed the sheep, lowered his weapon. He didn’t have the heart to kill an innocent pack of wolves. Breathing a heavy sigh, he returned to the farmer and paid him for the three sheep that he lost.

That night, the shepherd was so exhausted from hunting all day that he sat against the haystack, and fell into a deep sleep again. When he awoke at sunrise, three more sheep were missing. Then, to his great dismay, he found fresh wolf tracks in the mud.

The shepherd went to the farmer and said, “I was so tired from hunting for the wolves that I fell asleep last night. And now three more sheep are gone.”

The farmer, who had no patience for incompetence, gave him an ultimatum: “Hunt down the wolves that did this! If you can’t find them, don’t bother coming back to work tonight.”

The shepherd left at once, searched the forest all day, and as the sun was setting, he found the remains of a sheep. When he walked further, he came upon the same pack of wolves and raised his rifle.

“Don’t shoot me!” the leader of the pack pleaded, his tail held low. “I’m innocent!”

“You lied to me!” the shepherd yelled. “I found sheep bones not far from here.”

“I did not lie,” the wolf replied. “But after you left, I learned that a member of our pack attacked your flock. He is guilty, not us.”

The leader of the pack pointed to the guilty wolf, and the shepherd shot him. Then he cut off its tail and took it to the farmer.

“I shot one of the wolves,” he told the farmer. “But the rest ran away.”

The farmer frowned. “If any more wolves kill my sheep, you’re fired!”

That night, the shepherd sat against the haystack while watching the flock. He thought about owning his own sheep farm one day and closed his eyes.

An hour later, the pack of wolves appeared at the edge of the forest. But the shepherd saw them. He was only pretending to be asleep.

When the wolves came in closer for the kill, the shepherd sprang to his feet and raised his rifle.

“You’re a liar!” he said to the leader of the pack.

With his tail held high, the wolf replied, “If I told you the truth, you would have killed me.”

The shepherd thought for a moment, and said, “Yes, I would do the same thing—if I were a wolf.”

Then he shot the leader of the pack, and the rest of the wolves fled into the forest.


This story was published in The Donkey King and Other Stories

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The Big Black Dog: A Fable

Cane Corso Dog 3A little old lady built a chicken coop in her backyard. She painted it red, and in the evening, when the paint was dry, she went to see a farmer and bought twelve hens and a rooster.

After loading the chickens into the back seat of her car, she drove down the highway, and they all flew into the front seat! It was like a tornado!

When the little old lady got home, she put the chickens in the coop, closed the door, and locked it with a hook.

“What a long day!” she said.

She felt so tired, she went straight to bed.

The next morning, the little old lady collected the eggs that the hens laid in the nesting boxes.

She fried two eggs for breakfast, and the rest, she put in a carton. “When I have a dozen,” she said, “I’ll sell them to my neighbour.”

The following day, when the little old lady delivered the eggs, her neighbor wanted to give her a dog: a poodle with white, curly hair. “I don’t have time to take care of him,” he said.

But the little old lady didn’t know if she wanted a dog.

The poodle promised, “I’ll stand guard each night and protect your chickens.”

The little old lady smiled. “You’re a good poodle—and brave.”

Then she took the poodle home with her.

A week went by without incident, but early one morning, the chickens were frantic. The hens were clucking outside the coop, and the rooster was crowing on the roof.

The little old lady counted them, and one hen was missing!

“What happened to my hen?” she asked the poodle.

“I slept with one eye open,” the poodle replied, “but I saw nothing, and I heard nothing.”

A hen named Martha was hysterical. “A large paw opened the door and grabbed Bertha. It was a big black dog!”

Then Martha fainted.

The poodle shook his head. “Dogs are kind and caring animals, and would never hurt a chicken.”

The little old lady agreed: “Yes. It must have been a fox.”

In the afternoon, she put a chicken-wire fence around the coop. And before she went to bed, she closed the coop door, and locked it with a hook.

The next morning, when the sun came up, the chickens were in a frenzy, running and flying around the yard.

The little old lady went to the coop and counted them, and another hen was missing!

“Did you watch the hens last night?” she asked the poodle.

“I saw a fox jump over the fence,” the poodle confessed, “but I was so afraid I couldn’t even bark.”

The rooster, named Roger, said sadly, “I was awake when its paw reached inside. It was a big black dog, and he stole Henrietta—the chicken I loved.”

The poodle shook his head. “Dogs are friendly and loving animals. They would never hurt a chicken.”

The little old lady knew what to do. That night, she closed the coop door and locked it with two hooks. Then she went to her bedroom, turned out the light, and sat by the window.

At midnight, when the moon hid behind a cloud, she saw a black figure climbing over the chicken-wire fence.

It made its way to the coop and slowly lifted one of the hooks with its paw.

With her heart pounding and hands trembling, the little old lady grabbed her broom, ran outside and threw open the gate.

The creature had a hen in its mouth. BAM! She hit it on the head until it let go of the hen.

It was the poodle!

The little old lady grabbed him by the collar and yelled, “You killed two of my chickens! Why?!”

The poodle answered weakly, “Because I’m a dog.”

The next morning, the little old lady was in a much better mood.

She fed the poodle as many eggs as he wanted for breakfast. Then she put on his leash and took him for a walk.

And gave him back to her neighbour.


This story was published in The Donkey King and Other Stories

The Donkey King: A Political Fable

donkeyThere was once a farmer who had 50 donkeys. He used them to till his fields, and he sold the fattest and healthiest as pets.

The farmer, who was called “the Master”, worked the donkeys too hard and fed them too little, so they decided to do something about it: They chose one donkey to be their king.

It was the duty of the Donkey King to visit the Master every week and demand better living conditions: more hay and less work. The Master, however, had no patience for a demanding donkey, and often punished the king by kicking him.

The Donkey King was granted special benefits for making demands of the Master. He taxed the other donkeys by taking a small portion of their hay; he slept in the largest stall in the barn; and because he was royalty, he attracted a pretty jenny to be his mate.

One spring day, the Master sold the Donkey King to be someone’s pet, and it was time for a new king to be chosen. Two jacks wanted the crown, and on Saturday night, after a week of hard work, they gave their speeches in the barn.

The first jack, whose name was Grey, said, “If you choose me as your king, I will ask the Master to increase our portion of hay. I will also ask that he reduce our workload in tilling his fields. But I will be honest. The Master is a stubborn man and is unlikely to change his mind. Nonetheless, I will go to him every week no matter how hard he kicks me.”

The donkeys stared at each other. No one was excited by Grey’s speech.

The second jack, whose name was Sunshine, delivered his speech: “If you choose me as your king, I will persuade the Master to double our portion of hay. I will also ensure that only the 10 strongest donkeys work in the fields. The rest of you will no longer have to do hard labour.”

Hearing this, the donkeys got excited, and the sound of “Hee-haw!” filled the barn.

Sunshine continued, “I know that the Master is a stubborn man, but by engaging him in a positive and open dialogue, I will change his mind.”

A vote was then taken, and all the donkeys—except the 10 strongest who would have to labour in the fields—elected Sunshine to be their king.

The next morning, Sunshine went to the Master’s house, and sat on his lawn until the old man came out.

“Good morning,” Sunshine said with a smile. “It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?”

The Master, who did not speak donkey, wondered, why is that jackass sitting on my lawn?

Sunshine said confidently, “I am the new king, and I believe it is in your self-interest to give us twice as much hay to eat. If the donkeys eat more, they will work harder, and it will increase our value as pets because no one wants to buy a skinny, sickly-looking donkey.”

The Master stared at Sunshine, and then he frowned.

Sunshine continued, “I also want to renegotiate our labour agreement. The 10 strongest donkeys have volunteered to till the fields. Starting tomorrow, the other 39 will be given rest from hard labour. This will allow them to grow fatter, and then you can sell more of them as pets.”

The Master had heard enough. He walked up to the braying donkey and gave him a swift kick in the rear end.

Sunshine, realizing that his demands were rejected, returned to the barn and told everyone: “The Master is considering my request for a double portion of hay, and I am hopeful that we will see a workload reduction in the near future.”

The following Sunday, Sunshine went to the Master’s house and made a similar speech. But that day, and every Sunday after, the result was the same: Sunshine got a swift kick in his hindquarters, and sometimes two or three.

By mid-summer, all the donkeys were angry because nothing had changed on the farm.

In late fall, after their last day of labour in the fields, they gathered together in the barn and demanded that Sunshine abdicate his throne.

One donkey yelled, “You lied to us!”

Sunshine, however, refused to give up his crown. “I have been truthful to you from the start,” he said. “I am in negotiations with the Master, and I am hopeful that there will be an increase in our portion of hay and a workload reduction by next spring.”

Grey shouted, “You broke the promises you made!”

Sunshine thought carefully for a moment, and then he said, “No, when I campaigned to be king, I set two major goals, but I didn’t set a deadline for achieving them.”

After this, the donkeys became very quiet. They stared at each other; they stared at Sunshine, and then the sound of “Eeyore!” echoed throughout the barn. They evicted Sunshine from his stall, ate his extra stock of hay, and made so much noise that the Master could hear them in his house.

Moments later, he entered the barn with a whip, started cracking it, and the donkeys opened their eyes wide in fear.

The next day, they were still in pain from their wounds, but they were happy when the Master sold Sunshine to be someone’s pet.

All the donkeys (except for Grey) were filled with hope. They would soon elect a new Donkey King, and a new king brought the possibility of positive change.


This story was published in The Donkey King and Other Stories

The Donkey King and Other Stories

bookIf you like fables, fairy tales, and folk tales, you will enjoy this collection of 13 short stories by Christopher Lindsay!

Most are funny. Some are serious. But they all have a deeper meaning for the reader to discover.

Read all 13 stories for FREE!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Donkey King
The Greedy Goose that Laid Golden Eggs
The Liar
The Culture of a Vampire
The Rabbit that Wasn’t Right in the Head
The Sheep Who Refused to Fight
The Sasquatch Who Spoke His Mind
The Three Lazy Pigs
The Cat that Suffered from Dogphobia
The Troll Who Went To War
The Wolf Who Believed He Was A Sheep
The Pig Who Loved Mud Wrestling
The Big Black Dog


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