the story of the two hungry wolves

here is a wonderful native parable that i first came across in ted kuntz’s beautiful book, peace begins with me.

a grandfather and grandson were walking through the forest one winter evening. from far away, they heard the wolves howl.

“hungry wolves!” said the grandson.

“yes, just like the ones inside us,” said the grandfather.

“what do you mean? we have wolves inside us, hungry wolves?”

“yes, we do. two wolves.”

“two wolves?”

“one wolf is always angry. and resentful, greedy, full of false pride, self-pity and arrogance. he bears his teeth and is always ready to pounce.”

“and the other one?”

“the other one has it in him to be a great pack leader. he protects the young and knows where to take the pack when the winds get too fierce. he is full of love, hope, kindness, joy, compassion, serenity and generosity. he is peaceful and humble and has a great sense of humour.”

“what do these two wolves do inside of us?”

“they fight with each other for your soul.”

“which one wins?’

“the one who wins, grandson, is the one you feed.”

isabella mori
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9 thoughts on “the story of the two hungry wolves

  1. MJ Ankenman

    So simply put. I’m going to print this out and put on my bullentin board. Thank You for sharing. I went to see the Dali Lama when he was hear in Vancouver. He talked about being friendly to strangers and warned not to seek acknowledgement from others. In fact he commented some may look at you strangely, wondering why you are kind. Being kind is not about others it is about yourself…feeding the wolf within….

  2. isabella mori

    “being kind is not about others, it is about yourself” – yes, i find that working on acknowledging that is a good discipline. if being kind is a form of giving, then we can treat it like that: giving freely, without any expectations about gratitude or reciprocation.

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  4. David

    I love this story of our responsibility to our own character. I first saw it taped to the back of a cash register at a Sabarro pizza place.

    Nice to meet you.


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  6. isabella mori

    isn’t it a great story? every time i come back to it, i so enjoy reading it.

    let me see what my good and not-so-good wolves are today … the latter, today, thrives on distraction. the good wolf blossoms with surrender.

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