> 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.
> Bitter and salty.
The strategy of "doing things the hard way." When alternatives are available, the appropriate choice is the more difficult one. In voice, expression, and action there is a positive accent on personal ability.
> 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."
> Really a child of the back.
A child (sometimes an adult) that behaves well whether its parents are present or not; a child that is good when one's back is turned.
> He's like Ngerechebal Island, which is neither closer to Imeliik nor closer to Ngerekebesang.
i.e. He's indecisive or not clearly taking sides. A person who is "on the fence," changeable and indecisive. The saying may also be applied to a partly westernized Palauan.