Weathered brown skin, eyes black as coal,
The old Cherokee warrior understands his role.
He must share his wisdom, the truths of his life
With the sons of his sons, the daughters of his wife.
He looks at his grandson, a brave, young and rash
And pulls a tale from his story-telling cache
“You must learn, my son, of the choices we make
You must always choose well, understand what is at stake.”
The boy pounds his chest and declares with pride,
“Grandfather, I am no fool, I need no guide.”
“Prideful boy, listen well,” the old man replies
“Let me tell you of a battle that wages inside,
There are two wolves that live in each of us, son
And they battle for dominance, to be number one.
One wolf is evil full of anger, envy, sorrow and greed
With regret, arrogance and self-pity he will mislead.
He has resentment, inferiority and lies
False pride, superiority, and their allies.
But the other wolf is good; he has peace, love, benevolence.
With him kindness and generosity have prevalence.
He is filled with humility, serenity, compassion and truth.
“Do you have any questions now?” he asks the youth.
“Which wolf wins, Grandfather, which one will succeed?”
The old Cherokee pauses, then simply says, "The one that I feed."