A Wolf is Still a Wolf, even if Raised among Humans

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Iranian-American
Age: 77
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Residence: La Canada, CA, USA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 12, 2017
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Persian/Farsi

Do you have a proverb that you were taught as a child that you would like to share?

“The translation is like this… The wolf is still a wolf, even if raised among humans. Probably should say by humans, huh?… [speaking in Farsi] ‘Al-gorbetteh ghorgzadeh ghorg shabat… gar chabeh a debi bezorghche’ .”

And what context would you use this in?

“Uhh, generally used in the areas that you uhh… you work hard to uhh… eh… to change somebody’s nature, and uhh… you never succeed because it’s change people’s nature. Something to that effect.

Note: For a published version of this proverb, see Simin K.Habibian, 1001 Persian-English Proverbs, (Bethesda: IBEX, 1995).

Analysis: Like his wife, Tahereh, Masood spent a great deal of time in a poor but rapidly modernizing region of Iran’s capital. The strains of living in such an environment were likely reflected in the sorts of proverbs they were taught, which emphasized double-checking people’s motives and avoiding treachery. As mentioned with regards to TB’s childhood proverb, MB also taught his children with proverbs similar to this, and those messages were passed down farther.