Ethiopian Proverbs


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A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat.

A mouse that wants to die goes to sniff the cat's nose.

Cactus is bitter only to him who tastes it.

Even over cold pudding, the coward says: It will burn my mouth.

Horns are not too heavy for the cow.

It is easy to become a monk in oneÂ’s old age.

One should punish a child the first time he comes home with a stolen egg. Otherwise, the day he returns home with a stolen ox, it will be too late.

Termites live underground.

The little stars will always shine while the great sun is often eclipsed.

Thorns prick lightly the man who walks slowly.

When the hyena is gone, the dog begins to bark.

You think of water when the well is empty.

A close friend can become a close enemy.

A partner in the business will not put an obstacle to it.

Clothes put on while running come off while running.

Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree.

I have a cow in the sky, but cannot drink her milk.

It is foolhardy to start a fire just to see the flames.

One who plants grapes by the road side, and one who marries a pretty woman, share the same problem.

The arrogant blind man picks a fight with his guide.

The mouse is silent while laboring, but when the baby is conceived, she cries.

To one who knows no better, a small garden is a forest.

When the Nile knows a secret the desert will soon know it too.

You travel on until you return home; you live on until you return to earth.

A cow gave birth to a fire: she wanted to lick it, but it burned; she wanted to leave it, but she could not because it was her own child.

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