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Birdwing

Butterflies offered Arno the passion missing from his marriage. But where, exactly, would his hobby take him?

By Indra Sinha   November 2007

Arno Benton, a man known for his kindness to animals, children and all things living, drove along Malaysia’s Federal Route 19 and pondered his host’s parting words.

“In the kampongs, you’ll see chickens by the roadside. If you hit one, don’t stop.”

Arno’s mild features registered bewilderment.

“If you hit a dog, don’t stop. If you hit a child, don’t stop!” Spoken earnestly, without a hint of smirk. Was the man serious, or was this an initiation ritual for credulous foreigners?

“If I hurt a child, of course I’d stop.”

“Don’t stop! Drive straight to a police station,…

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