Children since antiquity have played with cockchafers. In ancient Greece, boys caught the insect, tied a linen thread to its feet and set it free, amusing themselves to watch it fly in spirals. English boys in Victorian times played a very similar game by sticking a pin through one of its wings. Nikola Tesla recalls that as a child he made one of his first "inventions" — an "engine" made by harnessing four cockchafers in this fashion. [1][2]Max and Moritz shaking cockchafers from a tree.The cockchafer is featured in a German children's rhyme similar to the English Ladybird, Ladybird:

Maikäfer flieg... Dein Vater ist im Krieg Deine Mutter ist in Pommerland Pommerland ist abgebrannt Maikäfer flieg!

Cockchafer fly... Your father is at war Your mother is in Pomerania Pomerania is burned to the ground Cockchafer fly!

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