The Guru, as you probably already know, prides himself on his Buddhist-like approach to all creatures great and small. He would do just about anything to save a life, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
The Bee Whisperer in Ravello, Italy
He never fails to elicit shellackings (well-deserved, in my opinion), when Tutti shrieks at him to dispatch one of the revolting, bush cockroaches that scuttle through the house now and then in summer, and rather than stomp it’s lights out – or spray it with the trusty Mortein, he ferries it onto his palm as if ushering a cute, fluffy hamster, and sends it outside into the garden (after which it inevitably finds its way back in). Cue more shrieking, more shellackings and so on, and so forth.
I’ve written about The Guru rescuing bees before, and here he goes again. My sister Fluffy recounted this story to me just the other day. It’s a true Guru moment, too good not to share.
If you’ve ever been to Oxford Circus, you’ll know that it seethes with people. There are pedestrians everywhere, jostling and shmostling, everyone in a hurry, going about their business, not giving any consideration to anyone else. If you’ve lived in London, you’ll know the true meaning of ‘pedestrian rage’; fast-rising blood pressure and fantasies about kicking slowcoaches in the shins. You have to move with the tide, or risk being trampled.
On this particular day, the Guru was at Oxford Circus with Tutti and Fluffy. They had just emerged from Topshop and were crossing the road. There’s an island in the middle of the crossing so you can cross halfway. Tutti and Fluffy made it the whole way across, then realised The Guru was nowhere to be seen.
The reason they couldn’t see him, is because he was crouched down on the ground, in the middle of the sea of people, in the middle of the road. What was he doing there? He was rescuing a bee of course. What else?
The Guru crossed to where Tutti and Fluffy were waiting, then stopped. He had successfully picked up the bee, which was in his hand, happily waggling its little bee bottom. “Wait,” thought The Guru. “What can I possibly do with a bee in the middle of Oxford Circus?” After all, there aren’t any lush gardens, or welcoming trees that might allow the bee to continue living the life The Guru had decided it deserved. So what did he do? He walked to the nearest garbage bin, and tried to wipe the bee off his hand onto the rim.
Well, the bee wasn’t having a bar of it. Being chauffered around on The Guru’s warm, pudgy hand was a luxury it hadn’t been expecting – and now that it was there, it had no intention of moving on. ‘A GARBAGE BIN?’ Shrieked the bee, disgustedly, “WHAT DO YOU THINK I AM? A FREAKING COCKROACH? TAKE ME SHOPPING GODDAMIT! AND THEN TO FORTNUM AND MASON FOR AN ICECREAM!”
But the Guru, a long time tinnitus sufferer, misheard the bee’s demands as crickets in his ears. Unable to smear the bee onto the filthy, dirty garbage can, he instead took a few paces back and FLUNG his hand in the air. “Fly little bee!” He said. “FLY!”
With a flick of his wrist, the bee was gone.
Where, you might ask?
I suspect it ended up under the wheels of a bus, or at the very least, on the sole of someone’s shoe.
So, was it the thought that counted? I’m not really sure.