Dear Abby: My family and I have boycotted the circus for years because of the wild animal acts. One need not be an animal rights activist to know that exploiting animals for entertainment is cruel.

Watching the humiliation of a majestic elephant perched on a tiny stool, or the fear of a tiger being forced to jump through a flaming hoop, teaches children disregard for animals' rights and feelings.The recent killing of a circus elephant in Hawaii after the enraged animal went on a rampage and crushed its trainer to death illustrates the awful frustration of wild animals that have been forced into an unnatural existence in order to make money for their owners.

Abby, you reach a wider audience than any other source in this country. Please print this letter in the hope that others will realize the terrible injustice being done to these animals. Only when enough people protest the cruelty will circuses be forced to abandon misuse of animals.

- Phyllis J. Mayer, Evansville, Ind.

Dear Phyllis: It is not necessary to boycott ALL circuses. The Cirque du Soleil, which began as a troupe of street performers in Montreal 10 years ago (and now imports talent from all over the world), puts on a spectacular production, using no animal acts whatsoever.

For those circuses that abuse their animals - perhaps a stiff fine would persuade the owners to clean up their act.

Dear Abby: I have been a fan for years but have never written. However, today I saw your column about twins, in which you said the stupid question you were asked most frequently as an identical twin was, "Do you ever get yourselves mixed up?" - and I find myself inclined to write.

Let me explain: I, too, am a twin, and I'd like to share an incident that happened to me.

My twin sister and I and some friends had gone to an amusement park and visited the "house of mirrors." (Remember those mazes of mirrors in which the challenge was to find your way out?) Once inside, we engaged in a game of tag, and I was "it."

Wandering up and down the halls of mirrors, I made a turn and suddenly saw my sister a few feet in front of me. I jumped at her, hoping to tag her before she could get away. Imagine my surprise and embarrassment as I staggered backward after colliding, headfirst, with a mirror! It was not my sister but my own image I had seen in the mirror.

I hope my strange case of mistaken identity gives you a chuckle. If I ever have to answer that "stupid" question, "Do you ever get yourselves mixed up?" - I will have to say "Yes!"

- Jo Bent, Anaheim, Calif.

Dear Jo: Thanks for the chuckle. A warning to identical twins who dress alike: It is indeed possible to get yourselves mixed up in mirrors; it's happened to my twin and me.

Dear Abby: Your chuckle for today: The majority isn't silent; the government is deaf.

- William H. Lederle Jr.,

Milford, N.J.