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


Pala-pálà kì í ṣe ẹran àjẹgbé; ẹ ṣáà máa mu àgúnmu.
Stockfish is not a meat one eats without repercussions; keep on drinking herbal remedies.
(One pays for one's indiscretions by and by.)

Pápá tó ní òun ó jòó wọ odò, ọ̀rọ̀ ló fẹ́ẹ́ gbọ́.
The grassland that proposes to burn into the river is asking for a lecture.
(Abstain from actions that will provoke others' ire.) [92]

Paramọ́lẹ̀-ẹ́ kọ ọ̀ràn àfojúdi.
The serpent refuses to be trifled with.
(Certain situations are not to be taken lightly, lest they result in painful repercussions.)

Pẹ̀lẹ́-pẹ̀lẹ́ lejò-ó fi ńgun àgbọn.
It is very carefully and patiently that a snake climbs the coconut palm.
(Dangerous and difficult tasks should be attempted with care and patience.)

Pẹ̀tẹ̀pẹ́tẹ̀ ọ̀rọ̀, a-ta-síni-lára-má-wọ̀n-ọ́n.
The soiling caused by speech; it stains a person and cannot be removed.
(Injury once spoken cannot be recalled.)
Compare Pẹ̀tẹ̀pẹ́tẹ̀ ọ̀nà Ìjèṣà . . .

Pípẹ́ ni yó pẹ̀ẹ́, agbọ̀n á bo adìẹ.
It may take long, but the coop will eventually cover the chicken.
(One may put it off a while, but one cannot avoid one's fate.)
Compare the others with the same beginning.

Pípẹ́ ni yó pẹ̀ẹ́, akólòlòá pe baba.
It may take long, but the stammerer will eventually manage to say “Papa.”
(With perseverance the most difficult task will be accomplished.)

Pípẹ́ ni yó pẹ̀ẹ́, akọ̀pẹ yó wàá sílẹ̀.
It may take a while, but the palm-wine tapster will descend from atop the palm-tree.
(All is takes is patience; what one desires will eventually happen.)

Pípẹ́ ni yó pẹ̀ẹ́, amòòkùn yó jàáde nínú odò.
It may take a while, but the under-water swimmer will eventually surface.
(If one is patient, what is bound to happen will eventually happen.)

Pípẹ́ ni yó pẹ̀ẹ́, èké ò mú rá.
It may take a while, but the deceitful person will not be undiscovered.
(Truth will unfailingly triumph in the end.)

Pípẹ́ ni yó pẹ̀ẹ́, ẹní lọ sódò á bọ̀ wálé.
It may take a while, but the person who went to the stream will return home.
(There is no journey that does not end some time.)

Pípẹ́ ni yó pẹ̀ẹ́, Ọ̀rúnmìlà yó jẹ àgbàdo dandan.
It may take a while, but Ọ̀rúnmìlà will surely eat corn.
(What one deserves will unfailingly come one's way in the end.)


92. If the bush were to burn into the river there would be a hissing sound when the water puts the fire out.  [Back to text]