Wise local sayings of the past, like proverbs in any language refer to a much wider field than that of the animals, people or things alluded to. As a mental exercise, why not imagine you are explaining the real meaning of each to a visiting non-English speaking tourist!
God often has a great share in a little house.
God never closes one door but He opens another.
Where God sends mouths, He sends meat.
Them that slight the meadow will buy the hay.
A stormy day is not the day for mending the thatch.
It’s a poor house where the hen outcrows the cock.
Butter goes mad twice in the year.
Never put the fox to hoard the ducks.
Them that hides knows where to find.
It’s a long lane that has no turning.
Cows die while grass is growing.
Two of a trade never agree.
Fancy buys the ribbon.
Far away hills are green.
You don’t miss the wee well till it’s dry.
A yapping dog can set the townland barking.
Blood is thicker than water.
A slice from a cut loaf is never missed.
Hungry eyes see far.
Butter to butter is no kitchen.
What’s got across the devil’s back is often lost under his belly.