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with them. Boots and legs he carried to a byre, where he slept that night. In the morning he managed to get the legs out of the boots; and when the people who owned the byre came to milk their cow, they found no piper but only a pair of legs, and naturally supposed the cow had eaten the piper and his pipes.”—J. D. White in the Kilkenny Moderator.
A raven that brings fire to its nest. (Hebrew).
This saying takes its origin from the fable of the
raven that sought to warm its young by bringing fire to the nest and so burned them all. It is applied to those who injure others in their efforts
to do them good. As the day raises itself, so the sick man raises himself.
pended about his neck a precious stone that had
from pain than the night. Be a dog rather than a younger brother. (Persian).
This proverb comes from a story of a man who had
three sons. The youngest was always considered to be subservient to the others. One cold winter night when there was much snow some friends of the man came by his invitation to spend the evening with him. While he and his two elder sons conversed with the visitors, the youngest son was compelled to minister to their needs and furnish all necessary entertainment. Noticing the boy's plight, one of the guests asked him to sit down with him and rest, whereupon he sighed
and uttered the above adage. Be deliberate! Be deliberate! 'Tis worth four hundred
(Hebrew). “The proverb originated under the following cir
cumstances: R. Ida, the son of Ahaba, once pulled
a kind of head covering only worn by non-Jewish
Carry an old man with you in a sack. (Marathi).
“Consult with the old and fence with the young.
(German). “Old men for counsel, young, men for war," (English). “The aged in council, the young, in action,
(Danish). “The old effect more by counsel than the young by action."
(German). There are a number of stories about intelligent
young men who were about to set out on a journey alone but who were finally induced to take an old man with them, who in turn compensated them for their consideration by giving them wise counsel by the way. One of the stories tells of the old man consenting to be tied and carried in a sack so as not to wound the pride of the young
Does a weaver know how to cut barley? (Behar).
See under this section: “The weaver lost his way
in a linseed field," and under Retorting Proverbs:
“Like the wabster stealing through the world." “This proverb refers to a story that a weaver,
unable to pay his debt, was set to cut barley by his creditors, who thought to repay himself in
But instead of reaping, the stupid fellow kept trying to untwist the tangled barley
stems.”-G. A. Grierson. “A weaver jointly with another man sowed sugar
When the crop was ripe, on being asked whether he would have the top or the stem, said,
'Of course the top. When reproached by his wife for his stupidity, he said he would never again make such a mistake. The next crop they sowed was Indian corn. When the time for gathering came round he told his friends that he was not to be made a fool of this time and would have the lower part. His friend gave him what he wanted."- John Christian.
Fight like Kilkenny cats, that ate one another except their
nothing but their tails. (English).
in Kilkenny, they used to amuse themselves by
J. D. White in the Kilkenny Moderator.
true story, it is certain that the municipalities of
else than 'two tails' behind."
Old Rhyme. Fool, keep the corn farther off. (Modern Greek).
Sometimes rendered, “Clown, you should have
given the corn sooner."
An avaricious muleteer sought to save money by
starving his mule. This so weakened the animal that one day, under a heavy load, it fell to the ground. The muleteer removed the load from the animal's back and tried to make it rise. Failing, he took some corn in his hand and held it a short distance from its mouth, but it was in vain; the mule was too weak to get on its feet. While the muleteer was engaged in thus coaxing his beast a neighbour passed, and knowing the man's avaricious nature taunted him in the words of the
proverb. For the bleating we have lost the neighing. (Modern
spigot and let out at the bunghole”; “Save at
the tap and waste at the bunghole. (English). A dishonest peasant, desiring a sheep that belonged
to a shepherd, determined to steal it, so mounted his horse and drove to the pen where it was kept. Tying his horse to a bush he entered, but the shepherd's dog, hearing him, barked and he fled, leaving his horse behind him. On returning to his home his wife asked him why he walked and what had become of his horse. Instead of telling her the story of his misfortune he answered by imitating the baaing of the sheep and neighing of the horse; then he explained the circumstances of his trip. The incident becoming known, the
proverb came into use. God gives bread but we must creep along ourselves also.
and Scotch); “Help thyself and God will help
There are many proverbs of similar import.
those who relinquished all their possessions, left
God has His hosts, amongst them honey. (Arabic).
It is a tradition among the Arabs that this proverb
was first used by Moawiah, the Emperor, who when he received the news that Aschtar, his enemy, had died from eating honey made from poisonous herbs exclaimed in pious satisfaction,
*God has His hosts, amongst them honey." Gomă Geneśa and a brass gate. (Marathi).
In a time of political upheaval a man by the name
of Gomā Geneśa went, without authority from the government, to the “Brass Gate of the town where he lived and exacted toll of those who passed through. To make the procedure seem valid he gave a receipt on which were stamped the words of the proverb. This practice he kept up for years and accumulated much money. When the fraud was discovered the government, instead of punishing him for it, rewarded him for his shrewdness.
Has she a right to say, " There is ” or “ There is not"?
Telugu people, the authority of a daughter-in-
following story: A woman told a beggar to go to her house for
assistance. The man proceeded at once and was met by the woman's daughter-in-law who refused