Saturday, May 22, 2004; Page A25
Even with the daily news about Iraqi prisoners and Middle East bombings, I still find myself disgusted by the stream of stories in your paper about children pulling the legs off cicadas [Metro, May 7], and throwing them under cars and using them as hockey pucks [Style, May 19]. None of these stories mention the reactions of parents or teachers, but I hope they are using this marvelous phenomenon of living creatures to teach these children that even small bugs are not inanimate objects to be wantonly killed for "playtime."
-- Dena R. Bauman
I am hardly an insect hugger and confess burgeoning panic at the prospect of cicadas roosting in my rather big hair. But even I found Linton Weeks's reference to children in Bethesda tossing cicadas under moving cars and beating them with sticks absolutely horrifying and reminiscent of those ant-stompers I never liked in grade school. Let's not promote cicada abuse. These creatures have waited 17 years to mate. Give them a break.
-- Elizabeth Shea