So this wolf comes knocking at my door. He’s all earnest as he starts his spiel, but I see a sly glint in his eyes. He says he’s there to warn me that a fellah down the road a piece is up to no good, and he has a big bundle of sticks and a bulging bag of rocks he wants to sell me. I might need ‘em for protection, or I might want to join with my other neighbors to do the bad guy in before he makes more trouble.
If I buy his wares right now, he says, he’ll even throw in this super-duper sling shot at no extra charge. He opens his trench coat to show it to me.
I tell him I’m not a fighter. I have something better up my sleeve. He selects a heavy stick from the bundle and kind of caresses it with his front paw. “Better than this?” he asks.
“Yes,” I tell him smiling. “But thanks anyway for your concern.”
He takes a round, heavy rock from his bag, slides the sling shot from under his coat, loads it up and fires the rock at one of my trees, hitting it.
“Hey!” I protest. “That’s my tree!”
“Yeah, and look at the patch of bark I knocked off,” he growls. “Listen, this fellah we’re talking about is a bad dude. Evil through and through. And he’s got a tribe of mean cronies, too. But at least with this, you’d have a chance against ‘em.”
I walk over to my tree and pat it where the rock hit, telling it I’m sorry. Then I tell the wolf I’m really not interested in his wares.
“Well then, tell me, Missy, just how you plan on dealing with this problem?” He sneers at me.
“C’mon in,” I say to him. “I’ll show you.” I lead him into the kitchen, where the scent of chocolate chip cookies is wafting from the oven, and tell him to have a seat. I pour him a big glass of cold milk, pull the cookies from the oven and place a few on a pretty plate in front of him.
“Here,” I say. “Have some cookies and milk. And tell me how you got into this line of work.”
He’s a little taken aback, but he slurps the milk and starts nibbling cookies and unfolds his story. I ask about his family and where he’s from, and I tell him a couple stories of my own, and before long, we’re laughing and chatting like old friends. As he finishes his sixth cookie, he pushes back the plate and says he’d better be getting on his way. I thank him for stopping by and give him a bag with more cookies to take with him.
He’s two steps from the door when he turns back. “Wait,” he says. “You never showed me your secret weapon.”
“You’re holding it in your hand,” I smile, pointing to the bag of cookies. He gets a sheepish look on his face—which is something for a wolf. Then he turns, and with his tail between his legs, walks slowly down my driveway.
“I better think about getting into a new line of work,” he mumbles. And off he goes, scratching his head, then reaching in the bag for a cookie. And just as he turned the corner, I thought I heard him laugh.
The moral of the story is don’t buy the sticks and stones that the sly old wolves are selling. We all have something far more powerful than conflict to offer.