There was an old Indian with a small grandson who came in the evening to sit and ask the many questions children ask. One day the grandson came with anger on his face. Grandfather said, "Come, sit, tell me what happened today."
The child looked up into his Grandfather's wrinkled brown face and kind dark eyes, anger turning to quiet tears. The boy said, "I went with Father to town today to trade the furs we collected, and I was happy to go, because Father said that since I helped with the trapping, I could get something for me. Something I wanted. I have never been in the trading post before, it was so exciting. I looked at many things and finally found a metal knife, small but a good size for me, so Father got it for me." The boy laid his head against his Grandfather's knee and became silent. Grandfather softly placed his hand on the boy's raven hair and said, "And then what happened?"
Without lifting his head, the boy said, "I went outside to wait for Father, admiring my new knife in the sunlight. Some town boys saw me, they got all around me and said bad things, calling me dirty and stupid and saying I don't deserve such a fine knife. The biggest boy pushed me so that I fell over one of the others. I dropped my knife and one of them snatched it up and they all ran away laughing." The boy's anger returned. "I hate them, I hate them all!"
The Grandfather lifted his grandson's face until their eyes met, and said, "Let me tell you a story. At times I too have felt great hatred for those who 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, living in harmony with all around him. He does not take offense when none was intended, only fights when it is right to do so and only in the right way. But the Black Wolf is full of anger. The slightest thing sets 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, yet it is helpless anger, for his anger changes nothing. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both seek to dominate my spirit."
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes, and asked, "Which one wins Grandfather?"
Grandfather smiled and said, "The one that I feed."