Your Lying Eyes

Dedicated to uncovering the truth that stands naked before your lying eyes.

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05 March 2013

The Boy Who Cried Wolf - A Fable of Victimhood

There was a boy playing in the woods outside of town when he saw a wolf. At least he thought it was a wolf. It might have been a wolf. Anyway, he'd heard stories of wolves eating children in the old days, and he thought that seemed exciting, so he shouted "Wolf - Wolf!!" All the men from town came running with their guns and torches. They set up search parties and looked and looked but didn't find a wolf.

Still, they agreed that it was better to be safe than sorry, and the Chief Constable patted the boy on the head and they all went home. No one had actually seen a wolf in decades around these parts, but some of the old timers were kind of energized by the whole thing, and spoke quite approvingly of the boys vigilance.

A few weeks later, the boy got to missing all the attention, and so he managed to see another wolf, and again shouted out his warning. And again all the men came down and searched the woods thoroughly but found no wolf. This time there was some grumbling and the Chief Constable even gave the boy an annoyed look. The boy didn't like that and complained to his mother, who became most indignant at the disrespect shown her son. A lot of the old timers who liked searching for wolves also told the mother how pleased they were that the boy was reminding people how scary wolves were.

Then a few weeks went by and again the boy cried "Wolf!", but this time he had a wound to back up his claim. However, no wolf was found.

The Chief Constable though was a little concerned that valuable resources were being diverted to wild-goose chases [sic] and expressed his hope that this recent wolf-hysteria would soon end. Well, that did not sit well with the boy or his mother, nor with the old timers who wanted to keep the wolf-threat real.The Chief was denounced for his insensitivity. A protest was organized, and pictures of the boy crying with his bloody leg were circulated. The protesters demanded the Chief Constable's resignation.

A doctor pointed out that the wound was straight and clean and not very deep, not resembling a wolf bite at all, and a few others pointed out the boy's clothing wasn't even ripped, but their voices were easily drowned out by the loud protesters, and even the reporters weren't interested in a few boring details when there were people marching making demands. The Chief Constable soon resigned. The new Constable learned quickly, and promised to spend thousands on wolf-awareness seminars, child-victim sensitivity training sessions, and other such measures that gave a lot of people jobs at the taxpayers expense. But no taxpayers dare complain, lest they be protested as well.

Other boys soon began reporting wolf sightings, even with gory wounds that would later be found to be more likely ketchup than blood. But no wolves were ever found. Still, each sighting would be accompanied by candle-light vigils, denunciations of insensitive officials, and pledges to spend more on combating the wolf scourge.

Discoveries of wolf costumes, obviously staged mutilations of small animals, and other evidence of fabricated wolf activity had no effect. Each sighting was followed by the same ritual of protest. The newspapers were unanimous in supporting the presumed victims, denouncing the non-existent wolves, and demanding that officials act. The rare codger who complained about his tactics was shunned. And every official remembered the fate of the first Chief Constable, and so each took each sighting seriously, no matter how preposterous, and always pledged to devote more resources to combating insidious wolfness.

And no boy was ever punished or ever suffered any consequences for falsely crying "Wolf!". The wolf-sightings continued. And no wolf ever actually appeared.