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


Wàrà ò sí lónìí, wàrà-á wà lọ́la.
No cheese today, but there will be cheese tomorrow.
(Today's want will be followed by tomorrow's plenty.)

Wẹ́rẹ́ wẹ́rẹ́ nikán ńjẹlé.
Slowly, slowly is the manner in which termites consume a house.
(Inconspicuos and imperceptible problems in time become huge disasters.)

Wíwò-ó tó ìran.
Watching is enough for a spectacle.
(One would do well to only watch spectacles and avoid becoming part of them.)

“Wó ilé ẹ kí mbá ọ kọ”: ẹrù ikán kan ní ńpa fúnni.
“Demolish your house and I will help you rebuild it”: he will give one only one bundle of thatching grass.
(Never trust people who goad you into trouble with promises of help down the road.)

Wọ̀bìà-á yó tán, ó pe ẹgbẹ́ ẹ̀ wá.
The greedy person fed to satiation, and he summons his friends.
(The freeloader always seeks opportunities to take as much as possible from his or her benefactor.)

Wọ́n ní,; “Ìbàrìbá, ọmọ ẹ-ẹ́ jalè.” Ó ní “A gbọ́ tolè tó jà; èwo lokùn ọrùn-un ẹ̀'?”
People said, “Ìbàrìbá person, you child stole something.” She responds, “That he stole something I can understand, but I cannot understand the rope around his neck.”
(Punishment should fit the offence, not be disproportionate.)

Wọ́n purọ́ fún ọ, o ò gbà; o lè dé ìdí òótọ́?
People lie to you and you do not accept the lie; can you ever know what the truth is?
(Since one can seldom be sure what the truth is, one would save oneself a great deal of grief by not always insisting on it.)

Wọ́n torí ajá ńlóṣòó lọ fowó rọ̀bọ.
Because the dog sits on its haunches they went and spent their money on purchasing a monkey.
(One should not pass up something useful for something useless simply because the latter looks better.)