An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice,
“Let me tell you a story; I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”
“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.
But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.
Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked,
“Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said,
“The one I feed.”
A friend put the version of this tale called ‘Two Wolves’ up on Facebook and it reminded me that it had struck a chord with me when I first heard it in the film ‘Pathfinder’. So I did some looking, and this is the other version, also known as ‘Grandfather Tells’. All three are attributed to the Cherokee.