Favorite Stories

The Two Wolves

A grandson came home from school one day and told his grandfather how angry he was at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice.
His grandfather said, "Let me tell you a story."
"I, too, have felt a great hate for those that 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 good and does no harm.
He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended.
He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf is full of anger.
The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper.
He fights with everyone, all the time, for no reason.
He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great.

It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of then try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The grandfather solemnly replied, "The one I feed."

Origin Unknown (I have seen it with the grandfather said to be Cherokee)
but I found the story at

The Cake is Mine.....a Korean folktale

Once upon a time an old man lived with his wife.
One day, after he had held a service in memory of his ancestors, one of their neighbours sent them a present of some food.
He sent them cooked rice and vegetables, but only one cake.
They were unwilling to divide it, and so they agreed that the first to speak should forfeit the cake.

So they left it on the table, and sat gazing at it in silence.

Just then a thief broke into the house, and when he saw the old man and his wife sitting there in silence he concluded that they must be blind and deaf.
So he calmly helped himself to everything he could find, and then began a violent assault on the old woman.

But her husband just sat and watched in silence.

At last his wife could stand it no longer.
She shouted at him, "You heartless old man! You sit there quietly while this fellow beats me!"

Then the old man said, "The cake is mine," and coolly popped it into his mouth.

Holding Up the Sky...a fable from China

One day an elephant saw a hummingbird lying flat on its back on the ground.

The bird's tiny feet were raised up into the air.

"What on earth are you doing, Hummingbird?" asked the elephant.

The hummingbird replied, "I have heard that the sky might fall today. If that should happen,
I am ready to do my bit in holding it up."

The elephant laughed and mocked the tiny bird.

"Do you think those little feet could hold up the sky?"

"Not alone," admitted the hummingbird.
"But each must do what he can. And this is what I can do."

From Three Minute Tales by Margaret Read MacDonald pg 145

The Spindle, The Shuttle, and The Needle

There was once a girl whose father and mother died while she was still a little child. All alone, in a small house at the end of the village, dwelt her godmother, who supported herself by spinning, weaving, and sewing.

The old woman took the forlorn child to live with her, kept her to her work, and educated her in all that is good.

When the girl was fifteen years old, the old woman became ill, called the child to her bedside, and said, "Dear daughter, I feel my end drawing near. I leave you the little house, which will protect you from wind and weather, and my spindle, shuttle, and needle, with which you can earn your bread."
Then she laid her hands on the girl's head, blessed her, and said, "Only preserve the love of God in your heart, and all will go well with you."
Thereupon she closed her eyes, and when she was laid in the earth, the maiden followed the coffin, weeping bitterly, and paid her the last mark of respect.

And now the maiden lived quite alone in the little house, and was industrious, and spun, wove, and sewed, and the blessing of the good old woman was on all that she did.

It seemed as if the flax in the room increased of its own accord, and whenever she wove a piece of cloth or carpet, or had made a shirt, she at once found a buyer who paid her amply for it, so that she was in want of nothing, and even had something to share with others.

About this time, the son of the king was traveling about the country looking for a bride. He was not to choose a poor one, and did not want to have a rich one.

So he said, "She shall be my wife who is the poorest, and at the same time the richest."
When he came to the village where the maiden dwelt, he inquired, as he did wherever he went, who was the richest and also the poorest girl in the place. They first named the richest. The poorest, they said, was the girl who lived in the small house quite at the end of the village.

The rich girl was sitting in all her splendor before the door of her house, and when the prince approached her, she got up, went to meet him, and made him a low curtsy. He looked at her, said nothing, and rode on.

When he came to the house of the poor girl, she was not standing at the door, but sitting in her little room. He stopped his horse, and saw through the window, on which the bright sun was shining, the girl sitting at her spinning-wheel, busily spinning. She looked up, and when she saw that the prince was looking in, she blushed all over her face, let her eyes fall, and went on spinning.
I do not know whether, just at that moment, the thread was quite even, but she went on spinning until the king's son had ridden away again. Then she went to the window, opened it, and said, "It is so warm in this room", and she looked after him as long as she could distinguish the white feathers in his hat.

Then she sat down to work again in her room and went on with her spinning, and a saying which the old woman had often repeated when she was sitting at her work, came into her mind, and she sang these words to herself "Spindle, my spindle, haste, haste thee away, and here to my house bring the wooer, I pray."

And what do you think happened?
The spindle sprang out of her hand in an instant, and out of the door, and when, in her astonishment, she got up and looked after it, she saw that it was dancing out merrily into the open country, and drawing a shining gold thread after it. Before long, it had entirely vanished from her sight.
As she had now no spindle, the girl took the weaver's shuttle in her hand, sat down to her loom, and began to weave. The spindle, however, danced continually onwards, and just as the thread came to an end, reached the prince.
"What do I see," he cried, "the spindle certainly wants to show me the way, turned his horse about, and rode back with the golden thread."

The girl however, was sitting at her work singing, "Shuttle, my shuttle, weave well this day, and guide the wooer to me, I pray."

Immediately the shuttle sprang out of her hand and out by the door. Before the threshold, however, it began to weave a carpet which was more beautiful than the eyes of man had ever yet beheld. Lilies and roses blossomed on both sides of it, and on a golden ground in the center green branches ascended, under which bounded hares and rabbits, stags and deer stretched their heads in between them, brightly-colored birds were sitting in the branches above, they lacked nothing but the gift of song. The shuttle leapt hither and thither, and everything seemed to grow of its own accord.

As the shuttle had run away, the girl sat down to sew. She held the needle in her hand and sang, "Needle, my needle, sharp-pointed and fine, prepare for the wooer this house of mine."
Then the needle leapt out of her fingers, and flew everywhere about the room as quick as lightning. It was just as if invisible spirits were working, it covered tables and benches with green cloth in an instant, and the chairs with velvet, and hung the windows with silken curtains. Hardly had the needle put in the last stitch than the maiden saw through the window the white feathers of the prince, whom the spindle had brought thither by the golden thread.

He alighted, stepped over the carpet into the house, and when he entered the room, there stood the maiden in her poor garments, but she shone out from within them like a rose surrounded by leaves.
"You are the poorest and also the richest", said he to her. "Come with me, you shall be my bride."
She did not speak, but she gave him her hand. Then he gave her a kiss, led her forth, lifted her on to his horse, and took her to the royal castle, where the wedding was solemnized with great rejoicings.

The spindle, shuttle, and needle were preserved in the treasure-chamber, and held in great honor.

written by the Brothers Grimm


A Jataka Tale

Once upon a time the king of a large and rich country gathered together his army to take a faraway little country. The king and his soldiers marched all morning long and then went into camp in the forest.

When they fed the horses they gave them some peas to eat. One of the Monkeys living in the forest saw the peas and jumped down to get some of them. He filled his mouth and hands with them, and up into the tree he went again, and sat down to eat the peas.

As he sat there eating the peas, one pea fell from his hand to the ground. At once the greedy Monkey dropped all the peas he had in his hands, and ran down to hunt for the lost pea. But he could not find that one pea. He climbed up into his tree again, and sat still looking very glum.
"To get more, I threw away what I had," he said to himself.

The king had watched the Monkey, and he said to himself:

"I will not be like this foolish Monkey, who lost much to gain a little. I will goback to my own country and enjoy what I now have."

So he and his men marched back home.

The Man Who Had Two Wives, 

an Aesop Fable

A middle-aged man had two wives (you can see the trouble coming, can't you ).

His first wife was quite a bit older than him.
His second wife was younger than him by at least 10 years.

Each was jealous of the other and chose to see her husband as closer to her own age.

Now the man's hair was turning gray (can't imagine why ), which the young wife did not like, as it made him look too old for her husband.
So every night she used to comb his hair and pull out the white ones.
But the elder wife saw her husband growing gray with great pleasure, for she did not like to be mistaken for his mother.

So every morning she used to arrange his hair and pull out as many of the black ones as she could.
Soon the man soon found himself entirely bald.

Moral: Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield

A tale from Aesop retold by LaurenLanita