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Part 3: On cageyness, caution, moderation, patience, and prudence


Já ewé ọ̀pọ̀tọ́ kí o ríjà eèrùn; jáwé bọ ẹnu kóo ríjà odi.
Pluck a fig leaf and be attacked by soldier-ants; put a leaf in your mouth and be attacked by the deaf.
(Whoever takes unnecessary risks will very likely face dangerous consequences.) [51]

Jayé-jayé fi ẹ̀lẹ̀ jayé; báyé bá já kò ní àmúso.
You reveler, do things in moderation; if the string of life is cut there is no retying it.
(One should observe moderation in all things.)

Jẹ ẹ́ kí o yó oògùn ni kò sunwọ̀n.
Eat-your-fill-of-it medicine is no good.
(Anything without measure is dangerous.)

Jẹ́ kí ọmọ ó ti ọwọ́ ìyá-a ẹ̀ kú wá.
Let a child die at his/her own mother's hands.
(One should not become involved in the affairs of a person intent on his/her own ruin.)


51. Fig leaves are usually infested with soldier-ants, and the deaf are supposed to be insulted by anyone who places a leaf in his/her mouth.  [Back to text]