I was working on a different blog for this month. But after reading Karen Kay’s beautiful post about Native American sayings, I remembered a story my neighbor gave me a few months ago. In the same spirit, I want to share it with you
First a disclaimer. I have no idea whether this is an authentic Native American tale or just a story somebody made up. If anyone out there knows where it came from I’d love to hear. If it isn’t really Native American I’ll be disappointed – but either way, the lesson is worth remembering. Another disclaimer – the story was given to me on a piece of paper I’ve since lost. So I’ll be retelling it in my own words, with a few embellishments. Please feel free to share this version.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
An old chief and his small grandson sat by the fire, gazing into the flames. From deep in the forest, a wolf call echoed through the dark night. “There is something I want you to remember,” the chief said. “Inside each person there are two wolves.”
“Do I have two wolves inside me, Grandfather?” the boy asked.
“We all do. And the two wolves are always fighting.”
“Why do they fight, Grandfather?”
“One wolf is good. The other wolf is bad. And they both want to win.
“The bad wolf is anger, hatred, prejudice, cowardice, discouragement, laziness, jealously, selfishness, greed, dishonesty, disrespect, carelessness and cruelty. Every day of your life those two wolves will fight inside you.”
“And which wolf will win?” the boy asked.
The old chief replied, “The wolf you feed.”