Notes for Students

A little Knowledge is Dangerous Thing

The page is an attempt to explain the meanings of proverbs through short stories. I have tried to bring out illustrative stories from mythology, history, anecdotes etc. To me, proverbs can be well defined only through the story and closely related to the culture of the contemporary society. For example one of the proverbs “Never a Quisling be” came from the backdrop of the second World War. Here, Quislings are termed as the enemy within (traitor). It is originated from Norway used in Scandinavian language.

Proverbs are very important ingredients of colloquial language. I hope these will help you to understand the exact meaning of the given proverbs.

I will come up with a proverbs followed by a story every week.

So , Here it comes the page on PROVEBS With a Story.

The first story on the proverbs

A Little Knowledge is Dangerous thing

It was fine day on Sunday. 12 years old Gopal helped his mother clear the table, after lunch. “Ah, that’s a good job, well done, my son. The mother patted him. Then she said, “Grow up quickly, honey! Then you too can do many other things like carrying out minor repairs as your Papa does. I wish your Papa were here! But, he is on official tours most of the time. I have a leaking tap now. The Plumber never turns up for odd jobs, even if I tell him a dozen times.

“I can do it, Mom, “Gopal offered.

“Oh No !, “ she said and moved to the bedroom for a nap. Soon she dozed off.

Gopal spoke to himself, “I don’t think setting the tap right is difficult job.” I have seen Dad doing it a number of times.” He recollect the steps taken by his father doing so. It went,  

  1. Pick up a spanner.
  2. Tighten it round the neck of the tap.
  3. Unscrew the tap. Replace the washer.
  4. Put the head back in place and screw it tight.

It looked quite simple. Gopal tip-toed to the shelf at the rear veranda, picked up the tool-box and ran to the bathroom. The tap was leaking. Gopal pulled out the wrench and then set it round the neck of the tap and tightened its jaws. Then he tugged, with all his strength. “What would Papa have done?” Then he remembered, He would hit the free end of the spanner with a heavy stone”

He did the same. The stone landed on his thumb. He groaned with pain. Tears welled up in his eyes. Then he controlled himself, “I must do this job. Mamma expects it of me. “He hit it again. This time he was successful.

The tap turned. Water gushed out. Gopal got drenched. But he did not mind that. Then he got a real shock when the head of the tap, pushed by the gushing water flew in to space. It hit the wall and bounced back into Gopal hitting him on the tip of his nose. OHHH! He sobbed. Meanwhile the head of the tap dropped down, rolled along with the water and got stuck into the outlet. Gopal groped around, as the water began to rise in the bathroom. He tried to prise the head out. But he could not. Water gathered in the bathroom. Soon his feet were under water. “What shall I do now?” he thought.

He decided to use the screw driver to prise the head out. That was when he heard his mother bellow, “Hey, Gopal! What are you up to?” she caught hold of him firmly and dragged him out, saying, “What do you know of this job?”

“But, Mom, I have seen Papa doing it, several times,” Gopal mumbled.

“so what. Your knowledge is incomplete. You should have done this first,” she cut off the supply of water by closing the main valve. Then she managed to clear the blockage. Water drained out.” See the mess you have created…..” she stopped on noticing the swollen thumb and the red nose and growled, “ The bathroom is now a pool. And your thumb and nose are a bloody mess.” She led him to the medicine chest and dressed up the wound telling him,“ A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Next week other story on proverb A Friend In Need is a Friend Indeed

Haste Makes Waste