There was Grandfather. His little grandson often came in the evenings to sit at his
knee and ask the many questions that children ask. One day the grandson came to
Grandfather with a look of anger on his face.
Grandfather said, "Come, sit, tell me what has happened today." The child sat and
leaned his chin on Grandfather's knee. Looking up into the wrinkled, nut brown face
and the kind dark eyes, the child's anger turned to quiet tears.
The boy said, "I went to the town today, with Father, to trade the furs he has collected
over the past several months. I was happy to go, because father said that since I
had helped him with the trapping, I could get something for me.....something that I
I was so excited to be in the trading post. I have not been there before. I looked at
many things and finally found a metal knife! It was small, but good size for me, so
father got it for me."
Here the boy laid his head against Grandfather's knee and became silent.
Grandfather softly placed his hand on the boy's raven hair and said, "And then what
Without lifting his head, the boy said, "I went outside to wait for Father, and to admire
my new knife in the sunlight. Some town boys came by and saw me. They got all
around me and started saying bad things. They called me dirty and stupid and said
that I should not have such a fine knife. The largest of these boys pushed me back
and I fell over one of the other boys. I dropped my knife and one of them snatched it
up and they all ran away laughing." Here, the boy's anger returned, "I hate them. I
hate them all!"
Grandfather, with eyes that have seen too much, lifted his grandson's face so his
eyes looked into the boy's. Grandfather 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.
It is as if there are two wolves inside me, one is white and one is black.
"The White Wolf is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him
and does not take offense when no offense was intended. But it will only fight when
it is right to do so, and in the right way.
"But the Black Wolf 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 Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins,
Grandfather smiled and said, "The one I feed."
............. American Indian .......... Anonymous .............