November 30, 2007

Dum stertit cattus, numquam sibi currit in os mus

In English: When the cat is snoring, a mouse never runs into its mouth.

Since I just finished today the huge and seemingly endless task of getting my Vulgate Verses book published (Vulgate Verses: 4000 Sayings from the Bible for Teachers and Students of Latin), I thought I would post this proverb in honor of hard work! If you are going to snooze all day as cats are wont to do, you cannot expect for mice to just show up and run into your mouth at dinner-time.

Now, I am someone who is admittedly inclined to snooze, not being very good at getting up in the morning! But somehow I've managed to get this book done, so I feel like a very happy cat who has managed to catch one very big mouse indeed, thanks to much sleepless prowling around.

There are some other nice Latin proverbs which express the same basic idea, that you cannot snooze your life away and expect everything to just take care of itself. For example, here is another one with an animal motif: Raro lupi lenti praebentur fercula denti, "Rarely do meals offer themselves to the wolf's lazy tooth." (Some very nice metonymy there, where it is the wolf's tooth that is expected to get to work in order to find some food!)

Similarly, about a fox: Dormienti vulpi cadit intra os nihil, "When the fox is sleeping, nothing falls into her mouth."

There are also a couple of fine sayings about how roast pigeons don't just fly into people's mouths: Non volat in buccas assa columba tuas, "A roast pigeon doesn't just fly into your cheeks," and Nulli per ventos assa columba volat, "The roast pigeon doesn't fly through the air for anybody."

Now if I can just sell a few more books, I can buy myself some roast pigeon... or, even better, a bottle of wine!

If you are interested in reading up on the Vulgate Verses project, I'll be blogging about that at a different address: Hopefully now that the book is out, I'll be able to get on a more regular schedule posting here at Audio Latin Proverbs, too! :-)

So, whether or not you have snoozed the day away like the sleepy cat, here is today's proverb read out loud:

1996. Dum stertit cattus, numquam sibi currit in os mus.

The number here is the number for this proverb in Latin Via Proverbs: 4000 Proverbs, Mottoes and Sayings for Students of Latin.

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