31 August 2006

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Butterfly Kiss-Off,” by Jeffrey A. Lockwood (Op-Ed, Aug. 24):

I used to work in a kindergarten classroom in which the teacher ordered a butterfly kit. Yes, the kids loved it and were mesmerized at the sight of two butterflies that emerged unharmed from their cocoons.

Unfortunately, two other cocoons fell from their protective string at the top of the box. The butterflies emerged with broken wings, unable to fly. When the teacher released all four butterflies outside to fend for themselves, the uninjured ones fluttered off. But I knew the other two would meet a certain death.

I took the injured pair home to my backyard. I had to physically put them on the plants a few times a day so that they could get their nourishment. They lived out their short lives, uneaten by predators.

This “experiment” proved to me that butterfly kits are extremely fragile. Too often, they go to inappropriate areas and to people unequipped to take proper care of them.

If teachers want to teach the real “circle of life,” they should take the kids outside to find caterpillars native to their area and set up a habitat conducive to that species of butterfly.

Donna Dixon
Woodbridge, Va., Aug. 24, 2006

No comments: