Tsumo

Mucheche wenyoka anotizwa neane makona

Literal EngEven a baby snake will put a man with horns filled with medicine to flight.

Definitions

Shona

Chinhu chose chinokuvadza kana kuuraya nyangwe chiri chidiki chinofanira kungotyiwa.

Eng Anything that can harm must be treated with caution regardless of how insignificant it may seem. Once things, however small, are known to endanger one's life, they are left alone and should be treated with caution.

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A person with medicine was known to be less susceptible to running away from danger or dangerous situations because they had the means to heal themselves. The snake was always known to be a dangerous creature due to its venomous attacks. However the baby snake was not considered any less a threat and even the one with medicine would be jolted. Hence our ancestors observed that some threats should be treated seriously regardless of how small the threat may seem.
The proverb is used to deter people from underestimating a real threat and ensuring they treat what may seem as a small threat with the same measures they would treat a big threat. It is also used to warn people to address every threat as if it was a big threat.
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