> Eating like laib-while eating, burying.
The laib, a bird with a long, white tail, according to lore eats ripe fruit in season, as other birds do, but also gathers scraps dropped by other birds and buries them. When other birds are hungry, the laib will dig up the scraps and eat them. Hence, one should plan ahead for lean times.
> Like a racing canoe of Ngerchelong, fast by word of mouth.
Apparently refers to a canoe race of the past when a club of Ngerchelong lost after having given verbal display of greatness. Refers to the bluff or braggart (all-mouth, no action).
> Like the people of Ngerechelong, standing together on the base of the coconut tree.
The mound or hump that forms at the base of the coconut tree is said to represent the highest ranking village clan. The leader of that clan is spoken of as "standing on the mound." In the idiom, it is suggested that the people of Ngerechelong (northern Palau) would all like to be leaders-all standing on the mound at the same time. The idiom may be applied where too many people try to direct an operation; too many leaders.
> A male child, though small, is yet like a small barracuda that braces against the flowing stream.
The small barracuda (mersaod, a small ai) can be seen bracing, without apparent motion, against the stream, usually where fresh water flows into the lagoon, or where tide water runs off the reef, until suddenly it dashes into the stream to grab a small fish. Then it retreats once more to its place of watchfulness. This watchful, quiet, reserved, almost crafty approach to life is much admired, and parents will encourage their male children with this saying.
> Like the oar of Ngerechemai, breaking on the down stroke
A rapid stroke technique in rowing, originated at Ngerechemai in northern Palau, consists of dipping the paddle deep with a strong, rapid stroke and bringing it forward with a smooth flip. The technique gives the appearance of considerable ease, while the canoe obtains great speed. The coxswain desiring more speed of his men may shout at them: "Besos Lechemai!" ("Oars Ngerechemai!"). The secret of the success of Ngerechemai racing canoes was not known until observers noted that the oarsmen frequently broke their paddles on the swift downstroke. Thus, when the secret of a successful leader-the leadership technique or magic that he uses-is revealed, this idiom may be applied.