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Part 5: On consistency; honesty, openness, plain speaking, reliability


K a ba l p nb, abuk n b n b k, k wn ti hn t fun un.
Just to delay people deliberately, the humpback says when he dies his intestines should be removed from the back.
(Said of people resorting to transparent delaying tactics.)

K g, k g, d ni yd.
Sitting and refusing to budge from one's position results from lack of communication.
(It is when people fail to compromise that problems defy solution.)

K r k r, k r k m san; -r--san kejol.
To see and buy, to buy and not pay; buying without paying is the twin of stealing.
(One should pay for whatever one buys.)

K olw w, k alwn w; -r--san ni sunwn.
Let the purchaser with cash come and let the purchaser on credit come; only buying without eventually paying is bad.
(What is important is that one fulfil one's obligation, not so much when.)

K dn m, k dn m; gblagb b pa lmf ntor iyn n.
I am not upset, I am not upset! Yet a grown man swears angrily six times because of last night's pounded yam.
(A person's protestation of indifference is belied by his/her agitated behavior.)

K j agbe k j ol t sf ygbdo; b k b b mi a di ol; b b b mi a di onl.
It-is-not-begging-and-it-is-not-stealing who whistles as he harvests corn ears; if he does not come upon me it becomes stealing; if he comes upon me it becomes the action of a member of the household.
(Said of a person who secretively takes something from his/her relative instead of asking openly for it.) [20]

K s ohun t a l fi ru e; r sn l b.
There is nothing one cannot do in the dead of night; the light of day alone is what one fears.
(The cover of darkness is a perfect protection for any sort of enterprise.)

K eku k y j k j sanw de.
Being neither a rat nor a bird keeps j (a bird-like animal) from having to pay poll tax.
(It is impossible to really be sure of a person who will not commit himself or herself to any side in a dispute.)


20. The idea is that the person goes secretively to his/her relative's farm to harvest some corn, and whistles while doing so in order to give the impression that he/she is carefree because he/she is not doing anything wrong. If the owner of the farm does not come upon the person, then the action goes down as stealing; if the farmer does come upon the person, he will claim the rights of a relative.  [Back to text]