Mother Parrot's Advice to her Children
Ganda, Africa Translated by A.K. Nyabongo
Never get up till the sun gets up,
Or the mists will give you a cold,
And a parrot whose lungs have once been touched Will never live to be old.
Never eat plums that are not quite ripe,
For perhaps they will give you a pain:
And never dispute what the hornbill says,
Or you'll never dispute again.
Never despise the power of speech:
Learn every word as it comes,
For this is the pride of the parrot race,
That it speaks in a thousand tongues.
Never stay up when the sun goes down,
But sleep in your own home bed,
And if you've been good, as a parrot should,
You will dream that your tail is red.