Saturday, September 25, 2010

Parable of the Wolves

A long time ago there were 2 wolf packs. Each wolf pack was very small, each consisting of one Alpha male, a "mother" wolf, and their cubs.

Although the two packs were fairly far away, the 2 alpha dogs would occasionally get together to talk about how things were going.

At this time, the cubs were very young, and were not skilled at hunting. They played at it a lot, and would always be asking to go. As the Alpha wolves were talking, the one said "The cubs can get pretty annoying. They are always wanting to go hunting with me, but they are so young that I know they can't hunt. Besides, they would slow me down and I wouldn't be able to catch anything as they would scare it all away." The other wolf said "Yes, they can be annoying at times. They do tend to scare game away, so sometimes I do hunt on my own.... but most of the time I take them with my anyway. It is harder, and we catch less. It is tiring, but I think it will be worth it. Each time I try to show them something about hunting.

A couple of years went by before the Alpha wolves met again. The cubs were now young wolves. This time, the first one said "Boy, our young adult wolves are sure lazy! They sit around and won't help me hunt but expect me to do everything! I am getting old, and it is getting harder to hunt, but they expect me to do all the work. On top of it, some are getting into trouble. The other wolf said, "Hm, that is strange. Many of our young adult wolves are getting to be very good hunters. They hunt along side me, and when I was injured a month ago, they took care of everything."


This was a story I learned a number of years ago when I took training in being a Scout Leader. It is one that I took to heart while I was a Scout Leader and later a Guide Leader. Generally when I was in charge of a new Troop, it was hard work. For instance, teaching several patrols how to cook over a camp stove was much harder than having a few adults or leaders cook for everyone. But after a couple of years, the troop would be working well, and the older Scouts or Guides would even be teaching the younger ones. I remember how my Guides (9 to 11 yo girls) would be camping - cooking their own food, chopping wood (not all), fetching water, doing dishes, putting up their own tents, etc - while I mainly helped any minor problems.

I have to admit that this concept was easier to implement with Scouts and Guides (ie, other people's kids) than it is with my own kids.... especially since I am teaching them ALL of life skills and not just a select portion of skills in one stage of life like it was in Scouting/Guiding. I hope I succeed, as I really think it is part of the idea of Charlotte Mason's concept of Habit Training. I hope that at some point I will have my "smooth and easy days".


  1. I enjoyed this post and the one previous to it. They both have given me lots to think on.

  2. I'm glad that you enjoyed it and that it is promoting thought. That is all I could hope for!

  3. Suzuki Mom - Loved this story! I am hosting the CM Blog Carnival and would love it if you would submit this post!

  4. Thanks... hopefully I caught this soon enough to make the carnival!

  5. Great post! I was just baking with three of my children and it was a bit crazy. I had to remind myself that this is how they learn and it is getting easier to bake with all of them.

  6. Great story with timely truths! I love the creative way you made your point through story.Thanks for this.

  7. That's a really clever story! It is so true when applied to motherhood! Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Thanks!

    As mentioned, I had heard the general story before, although about 20 years ago....

  9. mmm... yes. it is harder with our own kids... just like you said we're trying to teach the whole sha-bang instead of just a certain set of skills, but all the work sure is worth it. reminds me of this verse:
    "let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up."

  10. Stopped in from the CM carnival... bit of a straggler... but I love this concept! It's so true.

  11. Thanks for the comments! It is something I believe in, but find difficult at times.