Two Wolves

There are those of you out there that may already know this story. When I first read it I was looking for those messages of inspiration that are all over the interweb. I’ve always kept a link to it, always going back to read it if I felt the need. Then I had an idea. What if this story was a poem?

So I decide to do just that and turn it into a poem. Now I know I’m probably sailing a bit close to the wind but as I understand it there is no known author to this story. What I have read is that the stories origins are Native American, very possibly Cherokee and it’s consider to be more of a passed down parable.

All that aside, I hope you see that I’ve tried to rewrite this story in the way that I would like to read and remember it and with the love and respect it deserves.

This is how the story goes.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “1Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

And this is how I see it, I hope you enjoy.

While out one day a wise Cherokee

Was teaching his grandson how life can be

He tells of a fable his grandfather once told

And word for word did his story unfold


“A fight is happening inside of me

It’s a terrible fight you cannot see

Between two wolves one bad, one good

This fight can affect a livelihood


The evil one has many a name

Anger, envy, sorrow, shame

Arrogance, guilt, ego, superiority

Resentment, lies, ego, self-pity


The other one as you might guess

Is good and is happiness

Peace, love, hope, serenity

Truth, compassion, faith and generosity


This same fight goes on in you

And every other person, too.”

The grandson thought and after a while

Turned to his grandfather with a naive smile


“If we have two wolfs fighting within

Can you tell me which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee stood and simply replied,

“The one you feed. Only you can decide.”

Image from Pexels

9 thoughts on “Two Wolves

  1. tara caribou says:

    I’ve always liked that one. Except the way we tell it up here is not Cherokee of course, but we say the fight is between a white dog and a black dog. To me, it’s more visually stunning. As you feed the white dog it grows stronger more savage, or as you neglect him and feed the black dog, he in turn snarls and bites stronger. Either way… it’s a great moral and something to always keep in mind. Thank you for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robbie Yates says:

    Your poem’s astronomical
    It has both truth and style
    I liked its resolution
    The last line made me smile
    You have a special talent
    I hope, just like the boy,
    You feed this thing that’s wondrous
    Cos that will bring us joy 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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