> It's like the case of Beriber and Chemaredong (who for a long time lived in adjacent caves unaware of each other's existence but who finally discovered each other and began to share their surpluces).
People wasting things and not sharing or cooperating as they should. Cooperative reciprocity among equals should be patterned on that exemplified by these two men. Beriber, who harvested coconut syrup, and Chemaredong, who was an expert fish trapper, lived in two small caves near the village of Oikuul in Airai (central Palau). These caves are side by side, separated by a natural wall about one foot thick. However, for a long time the neighbors did not know that the other existed. Finally, they discovered one another, and from that time on they engaged in mutually profiitable exchange of their surpluses in fish and syrup. An elder source said that this is more than a proverb (blukul a tekoi) and referred to it as ollach idnger, the "law of neighborliness."
> Without looking afield, it was cut down behind the house.
From the folk tale concerning Mesubed Dingal, the inventor of the Palauan kite (see also No. 73). After his wife had been kidnapped, he constructed a kite using feathers from all the birds of Palau and he needed also wood from an Edebsungel tree to fashion the body of the bird-kite. After looking all over Palau and being on the point of giving up, he found the tree he needed behind his own house. The saying may be applied to anyone who does things the hard way, or who goes far afield to find something which is close at hand.
> I receive it and you ask for it?
A man asks for and receives that which he needs from a second party. A third party, learning of this, asks the first party for it. Used as implied or generally about any unreasonable request
> Like the man of Kayangel, who procured his gifts from Keso
The saying refers to a man from the atoll of Kayangel, some twenty miles north of the main islands of Palau, who, on his way south to visit friends, stopped at an intermediate reef, Kesol, to fish for a present for his host. Refers to a person who, en route to a visit, tries to borrow a present from another guest; any person who suddenly wants to borrow money.
> Like an old woman who is cautious about coughing and breaking wind.
Among elderly women, it seems, coughing sometimes produces the unwanted effect of breaking wind. The idiom may be applied to any action that might produce an undesirable side effect, such as a hasty decision at a political meeting. As a caution, it suggests the need for leaders to consider all the consequences.