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


Labalábá kì í bá wọn nájà ẹlẹ́gùnún; aṣọ-ọ ẹ̀ á fàya.
The butterfly does not join others at a market of thorns; otherwise its cloth [59] will be shredded.
(One should know one's limitations and act accordingly.)
Compare the following entry.

Labalábá tó dìgbò lẹ̀gún, aṣọ ẹ̀ á fàya.
The butterfly that collides with a thorn with have its cloth shredded.
(One should be wise enough to know one's nemesis and to avoid it.)
Compare the preceding entry.

Làákàyè baba ìwà; bí o ní sùúrù, ohun gbogbo lo ní.
Common sense “is” the father of good character; whoever has patience has everything.
(Common sense and patience are the chief qualities one must have.)
Compare Ìbínú ò da ǹkan . . .

Làálàá tó ròkè, ilẹ̀ ní ḿbọ̀.
A worrisome problem that soars to the heavens must eventually come down.
(No difficulty is without its end.)

Lù mí pẹ́, lù mí pẹ́ làpọ́n fi ńlu ọmọ-ọ ẹ̀ pa.
It is by gentle but persistent beating that the bachelor beats his child to death.
(People not used to caring for delicate articles soon destroy them by their mishandling.)


59. The cloth here refers to the butterfly's wings.  [Back to text]