Except homo sapiens, Enrico was generally kind and benevolent to all other species. Dogs, cats, millipedes, centipedes, lizards, dragon-flies, you name it.
You should have seen him with the dogs. He was Father Christmas for them !! He fed them bread, rotis, naans, cake, wafers, biscuits and what not. Some of the Alsatian-like dogs in the Ashram must have been reared by him. If there was anyone he dint like, it was honey bees.
If he saw a bee-hive, he would immediately pick up a stone and throw it at them. He had a logic behind it, he said “The bees never attack the person who attacks them”.
He, however, forgot to mention that the beehive was in the 2nd floor and he was on the ground floor. So when a few girls came shrieking out of the dorms with bees in their hair, he would give me the “been there-done that” look and say “See,I told u na ?”
When we were in 8th standard, me and a few others had hidden 2 puppies on top of the gymnasium. They were christened “Rambo” and ”Rocky”. Sadly they dint live as long as their more famous namesakes. In class 9,we found a little bat. It was full of fleas and couldn’t fly. Now, love is blind, and so are bats. Enrico found that little thing ‘adorable’. The bat was made to hang upside down on a stick ,that was then kept in a cardboard box. I was given the box for safekeeping.
Our class teacher objected and I had to return the kid to his foster father. God knows what happened to it later.
And in Primary School when we guys used to sit in the prayer hall, we were trying hard to concentrate on God, bliss, and happiness. Enrico, meanwhile was happy pursuing cockroaches, lizards and frogs. He put up quite a show for the girls.
He would hold cockroaches by their antennae. And he’d hold lizards as if he was Steve Irwin explaining why they looked so hideous. He’d prod and poke millipedes till they coiled up, and then put them on his tongue and say
“You want a chocolate ? Take….AAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN….”
…..and chase you through the dormitory with his tongue sticking out