I ran across this collection of Ethiopian proverbs. I’m not sure I understand them all & a few make me laugh, but some good thoughts in these.
”O, sheep if I do not eat you, you will eat me,” said the hyena.
A belt fastened while running will come undone while running.
A bird hanging between two branches will get bitten on both wings.
A blade won’t cut another blade; a cheat won’t cheat another cheat.
A bleating sheep loses a bite.
A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat.
A close friend can become a close enemy.
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.
A fool and water will go the way they are diverted.
A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
A fool is thirsty in the midst of water.
A fool looks for dung where the cow never browsed.
A fool will pair an ox with an elephant.
A good conversation is better than a good bed.
A good name is better than good perfume.
A home without a woman is like a barn without cattle.
A house can’t be built for the rainy season that is past.
A hyena intrudes through a gap a dog opened.
A loose tooth will not rest until it is pulled out.
A man who is too modest goes hungry.
A melancholic look is visible but not a melancholic heart.
A mouse that wants to die goes to sniff the cat’s nose.
A partner in the business will not put an obstacle to it.
A powerful friend becomes a powerful enemy.
A partner in the buisness will not put an obstacle to it.
A shameless person has no sense of shame at all.
A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children.
A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn.
A too modest man goes hungry.
Advise and counsel him; if he does not listen, let adversity teach him.
After the hyena has gone, the dog barks.
An eye and a friend are quickly hurt.
An overly modest man goes hungry.
Anticipate the good so that you may enjoy it.
As the wound inflames the finger, so the thought inflames the mind.
Because he killed his wife he took shelter with his in-laws.
Better an egg this year than a chicken next year.
By persevering the egg walks on legs.
Cactus is bitter only to him who tastes it.
Clothes put on while running come off while running.
Coffee and love taste best when hot.
Coffee is our bread.
Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying a grain in a bag with a hole in it.
Cow dung can’t be gathered where no cow has been.
Dine with a stranger, but save youur love for your famiuly.
Do not blame God for having created the tiger, but thank Him for not giving it wings.
Do not hesitate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing.
Don’t blame God for creating the tiger — instead, thank him for not giving it wings.
Don’t catch a leopard by the tail, but if you do, don’t let it go.
Don’t demand that what you write in the Nile will be read in the desert.
Don’t spend the evening in a house where you can’t spend the night. A good name is better than good perfume. After the hyena has gone, the dog barks.
Eat when the food is ready; speak when the time is right.
Eat when the meal is ready, speak when the time is ripe.
Even if Christ’s death could have been prevented, Judas would still be a traitor.
Even over cold pudding, the coward says: “It will burn my mouth.”.
Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree.
Evil gotten, evil spent.
Fifty lemons are a load for one person, but for fifty persons they are perfume.
Give advice; if people don’t listen, let adversity teach them.
Great men have big hearts.
He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured.
He who digs too deep for a fish, may come out with a serpent.
He who has nothing to do, scatters and gathers.
He who knows much does not speak much.
He who lives with an ass, sounds like an ass.
He who wants to barter, usually knows what is best for himself.
He, who learns, teaches.
His mouth talks about Sheik Hussein but his hands are stretched up to the tree.
Horns are not too heavy for the cow.
I have a cow in the sky, but cannot drink her milk.
I paid a goat because I blaabed.
If a freind hurts you, run to your wife.
If one is not in a hurry, even an egg will start walking.
If relatives help each other, what harm can be done to them?
If the heart is sad, tears will flow.
If they speak, they are wind; if they are silent, they are gourds.
If you are going to go where corn grows, take a cutting tool with you.
If you gladly stoop to the ground don’t be surprised if they trample over you.
If you offend, ask for pardon; if offeneded, forgive.
If you see that a town worships a calf, then cut the grass and feed it.
Invite him as not to antagonize him, shove him off as not to let him eat.
It is better to be the cub of a live jackal than of a dead lion.
It is easy to become a monk in one’s old age.
It is foolhardy to start a fire just to see the flames.
It is foolish for someone to remain thirsty when he is in the midst of water.
It is like using a spoon to get water from the nile.
Little by little an egg wil walk.
Living is worthless for one without a home.
Men fear danger, women only the sight of it.
Mock the palm tree only when the date harvest is over.
Move your neck according to the music.
No better witnesses than your own eyes.
No one knows what the dawn will bring.
Oh old hyena eat me without making excuses.
One does not became fat because he broke a fast.
One is born, one dies; the land grows.
One scoops with a scoop.
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.
One who plants grapes by the road side, and one who marries a pretty woman, share the same problem.
One who recovers from sickness, forgets about God.
One who runs alone cannot be outrun by another.
One who tries to hide with a dog, a child, a goat, or a person with a cold, will not remain hidden.
Only the man who is not hungry says the coconut has a hard shell.
Pride is no substitute for a dinner.
Regret, like a tail, comes at the end.
Restless feet may walk into a snake pit.
Saying that it’s for her child, she gets herself a loaf of bread.
Sharing a secret with a rogue is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole.
She who does not yet know how to walk, cannot climb a ladder.
Singing “Alelulia”everywwhere does not prove piety.
Sitting is being crippled.
Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
Snake at your feet - a stick at your hand.
Termites live underground.
The arrogant blind man picks a fight with his guide.
The beer is difficult to strain.
The best of mankind is a farmer; the best food is fruit.
The calves do not fear the horns of their mother.
The cattle is as good as the pasture in which it grazes.
The cow knows the cowherd but not the owner.
The coward sweats in water.
The dog I bought, bit me; the fire I kindeled, burned me.
The eye of the leopard is on the goat, and the eye of the goat is on the leaf.
The first camel in the train holds everyone up, but it is the last which gets the beating.
The fool is thirsty in the midst of a downpour.
The fool speaks, the wise man listens.
The frog wanted to be as big as the elephant, and burst.
The heart of a fool is in his mouth and the mouth of the wise man is in his heart.
The little stars will always shine while the great sun is often eclipsed.
The mouse is silent while laboring, but when the baby is conceived, she cries.
The nile has no resting place it wanderes around carrying a log.
The one who is mistaken is the one who does nothing.
The person who grew up without correction will find his mouth slipping instead of his foot.
The point of the needle must pass first.
The same water never runs into the same river.
The skin creaks according to the country.
The sky is so close for him who sits.
The slimming of an elephant and the losses of a rich man are not noticeable.
The son of the nile thirsts for water.
The tail and repentance go behind.
The witness of a rat is another rat.
There is no cure for him who hides an illness.
There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, and no one who gained weight because he broke a fast.
They snatched from me my own cry.
Thorns prick lightly the man who walks slowly.
To one who knows no better, a small garden is a forest.
Try not to get hold of a leopard’s tail, but if you do — don’t let go.
Unless you call out, who will open the door?
What has been blown away, cannot be found again.
What is inflated too much, will burst into fragments.
What is taken for oneself is usually not a small piece.
What one desires is always better than what one has.
What one hopes for is always better than what one has.
When a fool is cursed, he thinks he is being praised.
When he looked under the saddle he lost his horse.
When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow.
When one is prepared, difficulties do not come.
When one sets a portion for oneself, usually it is not too small.
When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.
When the heart overflows, it comes out through the mouth.
When the hyena is gone, the dog begins to bark.
When the Nile knows a secret the desert will soon know it too.
When there are many women, the cabbage will be spoiled.
When they fooled the chicken they threw her into a carrying basket.
When they wish to eat a vulture, they call it a guinea fowl.
When you are pepper, I am mustard; when thou art a needle, I am a knife.
Where there is no shame, there is no honor.
Whether it rains or stops raining, the lentils have two eyes.
While trying to pull down something from the antique she lost what she had under her armpit.
Who cannot yet walk, cannot climb a ladder.
With man comes the quarrel.
Woman without man is like a field without seed.
You are like dew even before it rains.
You cannot build a house for last year’s summer.
You may well have two legs but you still can’t climb two trees at the same time.
You think of water when the well is empty.
You travel on until you return home; you live on until you return to earth.