An Old Cherokee Wisdom

The Two Wolves Within

An old Cherokee told his grandson
'Two wolves rage within us,

One is Evil; it has many names:
Anger, envy, jealousy,
Sorrow, regret, greed,
Arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
Resentment, inferiority, lies,
False-pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good, it has many hues:
Joy, peace, love, hope,
Serenity, humility, kindness,
Benevolence, empathy, generosity,
Truth, compassion and faith.'

The grandson thought for a minute
And asked: 'Which Wolf wins?'
The Cherokee simply replied:
' The one you feed!'

Author: Zoya Zaidi
Aligarh (UP), India
Copyrightę: Zoya Zaidi

I came across this legend and it was so profound, I had to turn it into a poem

Cherokee Indians of Smoky Mountains - The first native peoples arrived in the Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains about A.D. 1000. They were believed to have been a branch of the Iroquois, later to be called Cherokee Indians, who moved south from Iroquoian lands in New England. Consisting of 7 clans, the Cherokee Nation stretched from the Ohio River into South Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians lived in the Tn Great Smoky Mountains National Park, believed to be the sacred ancestral home of the Cherokee Nation

Image: Cumnacatogue (also known as Cunne Shote, Stalking Turkey or Standing Turkey) was one of three Cherokee chiefs who travelled to London in 1762 to see King George III. He was the nephew of the Chief "Old Hop" who was also known as Standing Turkey.

Poetry by Zoya Zaidi
Read 1988 times
Written on 2007-04-27 at 14:42

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Thomas Perdue The PoetBay support member heart!
wow! i actually read a book on spirituality recently in which the author recounted a version of this story to explain something! that's amazing! i didn't know the story was very widely known, i thought it might have been a little more obscure...

well, i really like the story, and you tell it beautifully! excellent work on this one, zoya!

i'm actually part cherokee. :-)

John Ashleigh
Verbal conflict is a waste of words. But this poem wasn't a waste in the slightest. I love it!

betsy Firefly
How wise!

wow,absolutely true.

beauty and wisdom at their higher form! bookmarked, favourite!
Lilly xxxxx

Tsewang Dorjee9
Hello Zoya

Excellent , The Two Wolves Within 'The one you feed' this poem expressed the motivation of good and bad feelings that occured in every humans life.Good feeling always wins.

With regards

Tsewang Dorjee

Peter Humphreys The PoetBay support member heart!
Absolutely brilliant.

A wonderful wisdom and a truth... and such a simple one!

Rob Graber
I went to feed one wolf
and meant to starve the other
but only found a mirror

M Heathcote
Hi ((Zoya))

As always another great subject matter
Yin and yang
Put into words of wonderful meaning...
Wow, what a poem of calmer
-life betwixt upon us all...
betwixt between the two?
Dependent on Which Wolf wins?'
(which one we feed!) love it Zoya :)

Yes, good and bad both clap the same hands!!

Yes, those Cherokees knew wha they were talking about!

And Zoya has spread another wisdom! =)

There's only one word for this: Wisdom. With capital W.

thanks for this it's a great way to put this..


... and hugs & love and thanks ...

...this is so true !!!!!!!!!

best wishes

Elle The PoetBay support member heart!
How true, we all have choices in life - and there are the choices we make that determine who we become. Excellent Zoya

Elle xxx

Reading this I still think we have a lot to learn, interesting as well as informative as ususual Zoya, you truely are a source of inspiration to others.

Kathy Lockhart
wonderful text filled with much wisdom, Beautifully displayed.

Dan Cederholm
Very good Zoya . . . one of my
biggesr interest when I was
younger was the native indians
and this is a very good poem
about the Cherokee's
That believe they come from
the wolf's (SPIRITUALY) . . .

Well done and well written!
*Bookmarked and applaus*