The Tale of the Two Wolves

The tale of the two wolves is a Native American parable, which origin is associated with Cherokee Indians by historians. The story has more alternative titles including “The Wolves Within” or “Which One Do You Feed?”.

The story features two characters: a grandfather and his grandson. The grandfather explains to his grandson that there are two wolves fighting within him, which is an image that serves as a metaphor for the man’s inner sense of conflict.

The conversation between them goes like this:

“I have a fight going on in me,” the old man said. “It’s taking place between two wolves.

One represents negative emotions – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

The grandfather looked at the grandson and went on.

“The other embodies positive emotions – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

Both wolves are fighting to the death. The same fight is going on inside you and every other person, too.”

The grandson took a moment to reflect on this. At last, he looked up at his grandfather and asked:

“Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee gave a simple reply. “The one you feed!”