A shepherd boy, who tended his flock not far from a village, used to amuse himself at times by crying out “Wolf! Wolf!” His trick succeeded two or three times and the whole village came running to his rescue. However, the villagers were simply rewarded with laughter for their pains.
One day the wolf really did come, and the boy cried out in earnest. But his neighbours thought that he was up to his old tricks and paid no attention to his cries.
Consequently, the sheep were left at the mercy of the wolf.
Old Learning: Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed.
The loss was of villagers as well. When the stake is large, it is worth trying once more.