The Two Wolves
Adapted by Thirumur David Kiran
According to Native American folklore, there was once a great a powerful chief of the Cherokee tribe. Not only was this chief a mighty and brave warrior with many exploits on the field of battle but he was also very wise. He was well known and his wisdom, his kindness, and his upright character brought him much respect from both the other Native Indians as well as the White Men.
One day when he was old, he took his grandson aside to impart some of his wisdom to him. He said: “Son, you are my grandson, and one day you will be chief. You will be chief over many lands and many people will be within your responsibility and care. Now, if you are to be a great ruler, you must first learn to be a good man.”
The grandson asked the great chief, ‘How do I become a good man, Grandfather?”
The grandfather turned his eyes towards the plain in front of him. It was twilight and the wolves had already begun their howling and baying to the moon. He turned back to face his grandson.
“My son,” the grandfather began, “to be a good man, you must win the battle within you.” The grandson looks up into his grandfather’s face, confused. His grandfather smiled and continued:
“There is a battle that rages inside of us all. It’s a battle between two wolves. One wolf—a dark one—bears everything that is evil within its breast—anger, jealousy, resentment, greed, arrogance, lying, hatred, selfishness, and so on. The other wolf—one of the light—contains everything that is good and pure. Love, joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, compassion, truth, and faith are all found within it.”
The grandson listens in wonder at his grandfather’s tale. He thinks long and hard about those words and then asks, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The grandfather smiled and wisely replied, “The one you feed.”
May you feed the right wolf. Have a wonderful week ahead!
(Originally Published in “Heart Talk,” April 2013)