THE WOLF I FEED - THE WOLF WITHIN - TWO WOLVES - THE ONE I FEED
|"THE WOLF I FEED" - "THE WOLF WITHIN"
"TWO WOLVES" - "THE ONE I FEED"
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plus similar stories: THE WOLF WITHIN - TWO WOLVES - THE ONE I FEED
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1) "The Wolves Within"
A grandson told of his anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice. Grandfather said: "Let me tell you a story." "I, too, 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 is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights with everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of then try to dominate my spirit." The boy looked intently into his grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?" The grandfather solemnly replied, "The one I feed."
This story by Esther Acosta was reprinted in The Starfish, The Rocky Mountain Storytellers Guild Newsletter. This story was posted on the Healing Arts listserv.
Contributed by Bob K.
2) This was posted sometime back on the Storytell Listserv or the HealingStory listserv.
"Which One Wins?"
An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said, "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." He 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 offence when no offence 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 every one, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. 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 solemnly said, "The one I feed."---
Contributed by Mary K.C.
3) If you want to check in with the woman who claims to be the author of this story, Vickie Smith, I believe her email address is Shilnagig@aol.com (taken from home page that the story links back to). Her website is pretty nice--lots of work went into it--which leads me to believe she is an industrious woman who would have no need to plagiarize, or take undue credit for, a widely circulated story.
Contributed by Lucia G. Dorneden.
4) I did go to the site your pastor suggested
and read what Vickie Smith said about when she originated this story. BUT wonder as I read it more if she meant this LONG VERSION of the story - she did say that she learned it from truths she learned as she battled and that she'd posted it on the Cherokee list.
When I did a Google search I found many simpler versions attributed to a Cherokee legend - some seemed to be more "authentic" sites with other legends at them too and others calling it "Author Unknown."
Another at the Manatak Indian Council with short version:
And there are many more - some seeming more reliable sites than others - but it would seem to be a Cherokee legend with many versions. Or... that's what is seems unless someone has more proof, one way or
5) I have assembled several links but many claim the story is of unknown origin.
6) My version of this story is on my website.
Another story you might include is "The King's Falcon." A prince is traveling in the desert, leaves servants behind, stops to get water at a spring he knows of. The water is almost dried up, it falls from a pool in the rock above his head. He holds cup and gathers water drop by drop. As he lifts cup to lips, the falcon knocks it out of his hands. This happens 2 more times. He is angry and kills falcon. Cup has fallen into a crevice and he can't get it. He climbs up the moutain to drink from a spring and finds a dead poisonous snake in the pool. The falcon was trying to save him and what is done cannot be undone. A version which is called the King's Hawk can be found as "The King and His Hawk", retold by James Baldwin, The Book of Virtues, William J. Bennet, 1993.
My feelings bibliography may be of help to you.
7) That story appears as an Arabian Nights tale in my sophomore's literature book.
8) I traced the story to a 1965 book by a southern baptist preacher, John Bisagno. The passage is on p. 56 of Power of Positive Praying. It was a conversation between a missionary and a converted Indian. Story probably predates this book....
Mark R.W. 11/15/07
Created 2004; last update 11/18/09
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