(Explored Nov. 11/12 #234)
I am not a believer in religious mythologies...but I do feel there are lessons to be learned from them. In other words, they do not have to be literally true, to have truth to them. The story of St. Francis and the wolf is one of those stories. Legend has it that a wolf was killing livestock and people. They called in the holy man, Francis of Assisi, and asked for his guidance. Francis is said to have gone out to the wolf. The wolf began to stalk him and circle round him. But Francis gently spoke to the wolf and heard the wolf's explanation for his behaviour. He got the wolf, who had been injured and abandoned by his pack, to agree not to attack livestock or people anymore, and in exchange, the people of the town would feed him. The moral of the story, gentleness and kindness and mutual respect and understanding can lead to solutions.
Do I believe the story? No. Francis was clearly an animal lover, (which is why I like him, being a vegetarian myself) but I don't think he could talk to them. I think he had good instincts about them, much like the "dog whisperer" phenomenon. But I love the story, anyway. I love the idea that gentleness and kindness can turn a hardened heart around...
And here's a song completely unrelated to St.Francis...but has a
really handsome Italian guy in it, and St. Francis was Italian, so
there's the connection...and it has the word "gentle" in it.