Contents | Display Settings | Font Settings | About

Part 2: On perspicaciousness (good judgment, perceptiveness), reasonableness, sagacity, savoir-faire, wisdom, and worldly wisdom


“Gba ọmọ fún mi kí nrèdí”; bí ìdí ò bá ṣe-é re ká gbọ́mọ fọ́lọ́mọ.
“Hold my child for me so I may wiggle my buttocks”; if one cannot wiggle one's buttocks one should return the child to its mother.
(One should not place oneself in difficulty in order to help others out of difficulty.) [70]

Gbogbo ẹranko ìgbẹ́ pé, wọn ní àwọn ó fi ìkokò ṣe aṣípa; nígbà tó gbọ́ inú ẹ̀-ẹ́ dùn; ṣùgbọ́n nígbà tó ṣe ó bú sẹ́kún; wọ́n ní kí ló dé? Ó ní bóyá wọ́n lè tún ọ̀ràn náà rò kí wọ́n ní kì í ṣe bẹ́ẹ̀ mọ́.
All the animals of the forest assembled and decided to make Hyena their secretary; Hyena was happy, but a short while later it burst into tears. Asked what the matter was, it said perhaps they might reconsider and reverse themselves.
(Some people can be relied upon to find the sad aspect of the most fortunate event.) This is a variant of the proverb with Tortoise as the named character.


70. When Yoruba women dance they like to wiggle their buttocks, a feat that is difficult when they have children strapped to their backs as is the custom.  [Back to text]