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87 31 A Fruitful Investment O ne day, some Yarse1 arrived at a village where princes were waiting to steal from them. They found the population at work. Some were weaving skirts, others were weaving mats. They gave a few kola nuts to a child, telling him: ‘‘Givethemtotheoldmenof thevillagewhoaresittingthere.’’ The child did so, and the old men said to the merchants: ‘‘Wait, don’t leave!’’ The old men informed them that princes were lying in wait on the road to steal from them, and they hid the foreigners. The princes waited for their victims in vain, and left. The old men said to themselves: ‘‘The lucky man’s belt breaks near the vine2 . If the Yarse hadn’t had any consideration for us, we would have let them be attacked.’’ This is why it is said that one kola nut alone can save the whole sack. It is also said that in order to have a thousand kolas, you need to spend a gourd-full. 1. Muslim weaver merchants whose principal occupation is caravan trading. 2. Proverb that can be adapted in today’s world as: ‘‘The lucky man’s car breaks down near a garage.’’ ...


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