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Part 4: On perseverance, industry, resilience, self-confidence, self-reliance, resourcefulness, daring, fortitude, and invulnerability


Eb kan oo kr kr n Mo fr w.
A single heap on the farm does not warrant I am just about done.
(The first step is not nearly the completion of a long journey.)

Ebi ni y k wr lgbn.
It is hunger that will force sense into the imbecile.
(Even an imbecile must heed hunger.)

Eb pa ej, ahn yan.
The snake is hungry, and the tortoise saunters by.
(If one is invulnerable, one may strut.)

Ebi j k pa w m; eb en papala.
Hunger keeps one from folding one's hands; hunger causes the mouth or cheeks to shrink.
(One must work in order to eat.)

b k so.
Insults do not attach to one's body like pods.
(Insult ignored is insult defused.)

d k m j k m l.
No charm can act upon the day and keep it from dawning.
(What is inevitable will come to pass, willy-nilly.)

Egn t j or in, or gb l k ly.
The masquerader who is accustomed to eating horse heads will not be daunted by ram heads.
(A person who has faced down serious challenges will not be defeated by a slight inconvenience.)
Compare: Oj t ti rkun l rs k br.

k il gba ara lw b.
Okro that has gone fibrous has delivered itself from the knife.
(At some point, one outgrows some dangers.)

minrin jni, k t y.
Being bothered by sandflies is no misfortune.
(Whatever one's problems, they can always be worse.)

p bn pa od.
An angry curse does not kill an enemy.
(One gets only psychological satisfaction from cursing one's enemy.)

p lasa k ja gbnrn.
The curses of okro leaves do not affect the deer.
(One cannot be at risk for what one cannot help doing.) [16]

p bl k pa ir.
Creeping weeds cannot kill the silk rubber tree.
(A puny person is no threat to a mighty person.)

Ern j j j k fw k a; fnn j j j k ki s w pl; y kkk f lk wn for gbgi.
The elephant forages a long time without cutting its hand on a spear; the buffalo forages a long time without falling into a trap; numerous small birds fly across the sky without colliding with trees.
(Despite the ubiquitousness of danger, one will be safe.)

rba dd; gn rrn ww j; dd rrn pn; il m lm ti pn w.
Error does not await the king before it dons a crown; Ogun [17] does not wait for the sun before it dons a bloody cloak; the flower does not wait for the sun before it brightens; brightness comes with the child from its house.
(Native genius needs no external cultivation.)

Einn pnt; ekl ll; kant-kant n k w kan d agb lnu k kankan m k s i.
The fly is procuring wine while the worm is cooking bean-meal, and the sugar-fly asks them to find something to cork the gourd so nothing would enter into it.
(The idler seeks to find more work for those already fully and usefully employed.)

E j oko tn e l; e l Wata, il-e r.
The locusts are done feeding, the locusts have departed; the locusts have gone to Wata, their home.
(When one's task is completed, one returns to one's home. Or, The marauder has done his damage and has returned to where he came from.)

w ni tw; a k figi w dn.
As far as the broom is concerned it is taboo: one does not make kindling of broomsticks.
(Come what may, a threatening or threatened disaster will not happen.)

Ewu in k pa wd.
The African black kite is never killed in a brushfire emergency.
(The bird is beyond any harm the fire might do.) [18]

Ewr dn, gtn gbl shn, bk- n k sin un l sl na un.
The goat is celebrating an event, the sheep is in a procession with drums, and the he-goat asks to be accompanied to its in-law's home.
(A person who has made no investment should not expect to reap the benefits of the venture.)

Ewr l r ew dn k fi e nkan.
A goat can in no wise take the fig tree's leaves aloft for any purpose.
(Certain people are beyond the reach of some people's machinations.)

Ewro fi tojo kor.
The bitter-leaf did not become bitter as a result of cowardice.
(One does what one must, regardless of the actions or wishes of others.)

yn b kr, b brw, gbs s, tj s.
Whether a person be short or ugly, if there is no debt, there can be no disgrace.
(As long as one is debt-free other details of one's personal circumstances are of little consequence.)


16. Okro is the favorite food of deer; for that reason if okro curses deer the curse is in vain.  [Back to text]


17. The name means gn (the god of iron) has caused a disaster.  [Back to text]


18. It is used in the context of an incantation to ward off all disaster.  [Back to text]