Tag Archives: Cherokee

A Cherokee Legend — Two Wolves

I read this beautiful story some two decades ago, and its impact on me hasn’t changed. It is the story of an old Cherokee grandfather and his young grandson. The grandson spoke to┬áthe old man about the anger he felt against his friend who had not been fair to him. The grandfather made him sit down beside him and said, “I too have sometimes felt great hatred and anger towards those who take so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But, hate wears you down and does not hurt your enemy. It is like drinking poison, wishing the other person would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”

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“Let me tell you a story,” the grandfather continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.”

“He is at peace with himself!”

images“But the other wolf.. Ah! The littlest things will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for it will change nothing.”

“Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked at his grandfather intently, a bit afraid, and asked, “Which wolf will win, Grandfather?” The grandfather smiled quietly and said, “The one I feed!”

Which wolf do YOU feed? Which wolf wins more of the time?