LETTER: Horrified at killing of beetle

Last week, I was in a doorway into the hospital. I was leaving.

My eye was caught by something very unusual at my feet: the gleam of the back of a little black beetle.

It glowed, even against the dull dark grey of the mat. Beautiful!

But the beetle was heading westwards and thus into an arid, hostile environment. I put my toe in its way, to deflect it towards the open air.

No good: it assessed the obstacle, and determinedly pursued its route around this mountain and scurried on its way.

I heard two young voices approach.

Voice One: “Oh look, is it still here?!”

Voice Two: “Er...!” Voice One: “Well, now it’s not!”

I saw a shoe on top of the beetle, and I saw the strength with which the leg twisted to reinforce the squashing.

The two voices laughed and were in the doorway and away.

I was paralysed. I never saw the people. I was miserable. In a second or two, it had happened: humankind trampling on the natural, and by force killing it off.

Later, it came into my head that those two people had acted as though I, the third person, the observer, had not existed.

There is so much good, within our hospital.

But this was an example of the destructive power of brute force.

Destroying, while chattering... Horrible, and ultimately self-destructive.

Can we teach children to enjoy and to preserve our world?

Being old, I offer your readers this question, this challenge: how can we work together to change the horrifying mind set?

Charlotte Evans

Little Breach

Chichester