A Crab Doesn’t Beget A Bird: Intriguing African Proverb

Crab

A crab and a bird: photo credit: Alan Murphy

Proverbs are full of wisdom. It’s part of the lives of Africans, as they are used daily. Proverbs educate, warns, and reminds everyone in whatever we do. There are thousands of proverbs in Africa. For example, these are few Ghanaian proverbs.

  • A calf that is sucking does not bellow.
  • 2. A child does not laugh at the ugliness of his mother.
  • 3. A child who is to be successful is not reared exclusively on a bed of down.
  • 4. A crab does not beget a bird.
  • 5. A cracked bell can never sound well.
  • 6. A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer.
  • 7. A knife does not know who is its master.
  • 8. A powerful deity is the one to whom sacrifices are offered.
  • 9. A slave does not choose his master.
  • 10. A stranger dances – he does not sing.

But I like the proverb ” A Crab doesn’t beget a bird.” This proverb is somehow translated or means “Like father like son, or like mother like daughter.”Children look at what their parents do. If a father loves and plays with a gun, he could follow his passion to commit murder.

Along the line, it happens that his son has also inherits the passion of his father, and becomes a gun lover, leading him to commit murder like his father. That’s where the proverb ‘A crab doesn’t beget a bird’ comes in. Yes! Just like the father, he has also committed murder.

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