Two Wolves

Let me introduce myself.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up:

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, hope, love, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.

The boy thought about it and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

Wa-a-a-a-a-all, there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s good to be self-aware and realize there is a battle going on inside you, and it’s good to know there are parts of you that don’t deserve encouragement. You can be free to be you and me without letting Jerk Wolf take over.

And yet, I’ve met some Cherokees, and they don’t seem quite as sure as Grandfather Quietly Replied that the battle is really so simple. Good You vs. Evil You, eh? And you just have to choose one?

What about when someone tells you that, when you thought you were letting Good Wolf take the wheel, it made them want to run away screaming, because Good Wolf is a tedious sap?

What if someone confides that, on the day that Evil Wolf squeezed under the fence and gorged on garbage all day and then skulked back to his crate with a full belly, that was the day some teetering, almost-lost soul saw it all and thought, “Wow, that’s kind of awesome. If a decent, productive, and stable society can deal with wolfies like that, maybe there’s a place for me after all”?

I’m just saying. There are wolves, and there are wolves. As for me, my wolves are named Kierkegaard and Lily von Shtupp, and they are both exceedingly hungry. We’ve worked out a system where they take turns getting fed. Oddly, they both thrive on gin. Even odder, they refuse to eat unless the other one is close by.  And if there are no quiet grandfathers lurking about, nodding in grave approbation — well, as a Hebrew Catholic gal from New Hampshire, I never was a very good Cherokee anyway.

So now it’s your turn to introduce yourself. Or if you’re in a rush, sum up: What are your wolves named? And how well do they get along? And wouldn’t you like to slip into something a little more comfortable?


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19 thoughts on “Two Wolves”

  1. I don’t even think my wolves have names…one of them is loud, shallow, self absorbed, prideful and envious…the other digs deep and quietly manages to do the hardest, saddest, most giving acts of love in total obscurity.

  2. I’m pretty sure my wolves are the flying nun and the smart alek punk from NJ that I used to be (or I wished that I used to be).

  3. Father Mulcahy from M*A*S*H and Ms. Hannigan from Annie. That’s about 50% more Irish than I can rightly lay any claim to, but I think it’s accurate. On the one-hand, a well-intentioned if somewhat oblivious soul and on the other, a tired, stressed, dried up crone who shouldn’t be trusted.

  4. If I can only name 2 of my wolves, then I’m going for extremes: Tyler Durden and Caroline Ingalls. Tyler serves Caroline afternoon tea and then the two of them dog fight for scraps from the trash.

  5. My wolves have never told me their names and anyway they might not be wolves. I’m reasonably sure there are more than two. I feed them an unsteady diet of bourbon, lutefisk, and dark chocolate.

  6. I think my two wolves are Molly Weasley and Helena Bonham Carter. Devoted mom and feeder of many, but sometimes just a good amount of entertaining crazy.

  7. The first two that come to mind are:
    Maria Von Trapp and Mr.Darling/Captain Hook.

    I’ve been following your blog (s) for a couple of years, I always look forward to your posts.

  8. I guess one of my wolves is Holden Caulfield and the other one is probably Professor Higgins. That’s not to say which one is the good and which is the evil wolf.

  9. My wolves are Mrs Weasley and Cruella de Vil. Most of the time I’m quite happy to spend my time controlling my children and running the lives of every one in the house but sometimes I need to stalk around, smoke, and call my children beasts.
    As a note of rebellion, I’ve always disliked this silly proverb. We all have more then 2 wolves. Because I’m pretty sure that good wolf and bad wolf had pups together. So I have a bunch of not great but not so bad wolves. It’s a hell of a lot harder to train a kinda good wolf then it is to train an all bad wolf.
    And one more thing-congratulations on the new blog! Very excited that you are still willing to share your life with us all. I enjoy your writing so very much!

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