Oban's Myths & Legends
Native American - Cherokee Legend
retold by Oban
One evening an old Cherokee man sat quietly outside his home, enjoying the beautiful sunset.
His grandson ran out of the house and threw himself down beside him with a huge sigh. There was anger in the young boys face. “What is wrong?” his grandfather asked gently.
The boy rested his head on the old man’s shoulder. “My friend wouldn’t play with me today. He went off with the older boys and left me alone. I hate him!”
The old man put his arm around the boy. “I know how you feel,” he said. “In my long life I too have felt anger and hatred because of an injustice that I felt someone had done to me.”
He stroked the boy’s hair gently. “But hatred and anger wears you down and makes you tired. Do you know why that is?” The boy shook his head.
“It’s because there is a terrible battle going on inside every one of us, between two wolves.” said the grandfather.
“Two wolves?” asked the boy. He knew his grandfather was very wise, but two wolves fighting inside him sounded weird.
“Yes, two wolves.” replied his grandfather.
“One wolf is full of anger, hatred, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. He fights everyone because his anger and emotions stop him from thinking.”
“The other wolf is calm and lives in harmony with everything around him. He is full of peace, love, hope, joy, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. He will only fight if it is the right thing to do and he will fight in the right way.”
The old man looked into his grandson’s eyes. “I sometimes find it hard with these two wolves always fighting inside me,” he said.
“Which wolf will win, Grandfather?” asked the boy.
The old man smiled calmly, “The one that I feed the most.”