Two Wolves

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The story of the Two Wolves is a popular legend of unknown origin, sometimes attributed to Native Americans (Lenape[1] or Cherokee[2][3]) that is also known as "Which one do you feed",[4] "Grandfather Tells",[2] "The Wolves Within",[2] and "Tale Of Two Wolves".[5] It is a story of a grandfather using a metaphor of two wolves fighting within him to explain his inner conflicts to his grandson. When his grandson asks which wolf wins, the grandfather answers whichever he chooses to feed.

In media[edit]

The story is frequently quoted in various forms in media articles,[6][7][8] a podcast called The One You Feed,[9] and was summarized in the 2015 film Tomorrowland.[10][11] From Wikiquote:[12]

Casey Newton: "There are two wolves" … You told me this story my entire life, and now I'm telling you: There are two wolves and they are always fighting. One is darkness and despair, the other is light and hope. Which wolf wins?
Eddie Newton: C'mon, Casey.
Casey Newton: Okay, fine, don’t answer.
Eddie Newton: Whichever one you feed.
Casey Newton: Good. Eat.
  • In the Luke Cage (TV Series) Season 2, Episode 2, at time-index 48:06, a pastor tells the story of a "Cherokee Legend", with the metaphor of two wolves fighting, where the boy in the story asks "Which wolf is stronger?" and his grandfather responds: "It's the one you feed."

Likely references[edit]

The names and phrases from the following are likely referring to this legend:

Possible Variants[edit]

The earliest known version is a story told by the Reverend Billy Graham in his book The Holy Spirit: Activating God's Power in Your Life (W Publishing Group 1978) about an Eskimo with a black dog and a white dog[13] that is similar to the Two Wolves. (Physical book citation with page number needs editor verification)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Native American Indian Wolf Legends, Meaning and Symbolism from the Myths of Many Tribes". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  2. ^ a b c "Cherokee Legend - Two Wolves". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  3. ^ "Two Wolves - A Cherokee Parable : Pearls Of Wisdom". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  4. ^ "Which One Do You Feed?". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  5. ^ "Tale of Two Wolves - Nanticoke Indian Association". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  6. ^ "Which wolf are you feeding? - Salisbury Post". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Editorial: A message of hope". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  8. ^ "Do You Feed the Good Wolf or the Bad?". 2015-08-27. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  9. ^ "A podcast about feeding your good wolf". The One You Feed. 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  10. ^ Author Interviews (2015-05-22). "The Future Is Bright In The Time-And-Space Twisting 'Tomorrowland'". NPR. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  11. ^ "Tomorrowland: Feeding the Right Wolf – A Clear Lens". 2015-05-26. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  12. ^ "Tomorrowland (film) - Wikiquote". 2016-01-24. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  13. ^ Graham, Billy (1978). The Holy Spirit: Activating God's Power in Your Life. W Publishing Group. p. 92. ISBN 978-0849900051.