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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LIBERIAN PROVERBS

YOU CAN'T SPILL WATER AND THEN PICK IT UP. (WHAT ONE HAS
SAID CAN'T BE TAKEN BACK.)
A ROOSTER CAN'T CROW IN HIS FRIEND'S VILLAGE. (YOU CAN'T DO IN
ANOTHER VILLAGE WHAT YOU NORMALLY CAN DO IN YOUR OWN VILLAGE.)
BAMBOO KNOWS WHERE TO RUB HIS BOTTOM. (A WISEMAN KNOWS
WHO TO FIGHT.)
YOU SEW LOOSELY, YOU WEAR LOOSELY. (A LAZY PERSON WILL
PRODUCE LAZY WORK.)
CASSAVA LEAF IS NOT FOR GOAT ALONE. (SCHOOL IS NOT FOR
CHILDREN ALONE.)
WHEN THE LION IS NOT IN THE FOREST, THE BEARS ARE
FRISKY. (CHILDREN PLAY WHEN THE ELDERS ARE AWAY.)
WHEN AN ELDER'S TEETH IS ABOUT TO FALL APART, DON'T TOUCH THEM.
(DON'T BE CRUEL TO YOUR ELDER, YOU CAN BE CRUEL TO YOURSELF.)
AN AXE CAN CUT DOWN A BIG TREE. (THE TRUTH WILL FREE A PERSON.)
PLAY IS PLAY AND JOKE IS JOKE BUT NEVER POINT YOUR FINGER
AT A CASKET. (DON'T TEASE, IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE CONSEQUENCES.)
YOU CAN BEND A YOUNG STICK BUT NOT AN OAK TREE. (TRAIN A CHILD
WHEN THE CHILD IS VERY YOUNG.)
EMPTY POTS MAKE LOT OF NOISE. (PEOPLE WITH LITTLE
THINGS PRETEND TO OWN THE ENTIRE WORLD.)
NEVER LOOK AT A PRETTY WOMAN'S FACE. (LOOKS ARE DECEIVING.)
WOMEN ARE LIKE THE RAINBOW WITH SEVERAL COLORS. (WOMEN ARE
HARD TO SATISFY.)
A MONKEY'S HAND IS ALWAYS DARK. ( ONCE A ROGUE, ALWAYS A ROGUE.)
YOU HAVE TO CRAWL BEFORE YOU WALK. (EVERYTHING HAPPEN
IN A SEQUENCE.)
IF YOUR KNIFE CUTS YOU, THROW IT DOWN AND PICK IT UP. (IF
YOUR RELATIVE HARMS YOU, FORGIVE HIM, BUT NEVER TRUST HIM AGAIN.)
PALM NUTS DO NOT GROW ON ORANGE TREES. (EVERYTHING ON THIS
EARTH HAS A PLACE AND TIME.)
ONE TREE DOES NOT MAKE A FOREST. (IT TAKES MANY PEOPLE
TO ELECT A LEADER.)
DON'T SEND A MAN TO TAKE OFF DRY FISH. (IF YOU KNOW THAT
A MAN IS CRIMINAL, DON'T TRUST HIM WITH ANYTHING.)
IF A ROGUE COMES TO YOU, LET HIM IN YOUR HOUSE, BUT IF A LIAR
COMES TO YOU TURN HIM AWAY. (ROGUES TAKE THINGS THAT CAN
BE REPLACED, BUT THE TALES OF A LIAR HURT FOREVER.)
SOFTLY, SOFTLY, CATCHES MONKEY (NICE WORDS CAN MAKE MORE FRIENDS THA
RABBIT OR A POT OF RICE.)
ONE CAPTAIN CAN'T STEER TWO SHIPS AT THE SAME TIME. (TWO
CHIEFS CAN'T RULE A TRIBE. THEY WILL EVENTUALLY
BRING ABOUT CIVIL WAR.)
HUNGER MAKE MONKEY EAT PEPPER. (WHEN THINGS ARE ROUGH, YOU WILL
DO ANYTHING TO MAKE IT BETTER.)
THE BIG MAN IS THE SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE. (THE EDUCATED
PERSON CORRECTS WHAT THE UNTRAINED PERSON DID WRONG.)
SMALL PEANUTS ARE NOT SLAVES TO BIG ONES.
(EVERYONE IS EQUAL IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.)
FAMILY STICK CAN BEND, BUT IT NEVER BREAKS. (RELATIVES MAY
FUSS, BUT THEY WILL BE TOGETHER IN TIME OF NEED.)
A NEW BROOM SWEEPS WELL. (A NEW RELATIONSHIP HAS NO FAULTS,
IT SHINES ALWAYS.)
AN INDIVIDUAL CAN'T DRINK A WELL DRY. (IT TAKES MORE THAN
ONE PERSON TO COMPLETE A PROJECT.)
WATER IS SWEET WHEN THE WEATHER IS DRY. (YOU NEVER REALIZE
A GOOD THING UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE.)
WHAT IS DEATH TO FROG IS FUN TO A CHILD. (WHEN YOU HURT
SOMEONE, YOU DON'T REALIZE HOW SERIOUS IT CAN BE.)

Submitter comment: THESE PROVERB WERE FREQUENTLY HEARD IN MY HOUSE IN MONROVIA.

Where learned: LIBERIA ; MONROVIA

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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