A Sad Story
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Letter to the Times of Malta

A Sad Story
by A. Couto, Paris, France.

It was 6.20 a.m. on April 4. I was sipping my coffee watching a magnificent scene from the terrace. Not more than 100 metres towards the valley from Mejjiesa Road in Manikata I could count 20 night herons alighting among a
cluster of carob trees.

Before I had time to fetch my binoculars the morning stillness was shattered with a barrage of gunfire. Most of the 20 were killed without moving in the tree.

The night heron is exceptional from other birds in that when there is a flock the survivors keep circling round their fallen comrades. So the killing went on for the next two or three minutes with only one remaining, and it flew away to tell the sad tale.

Two young men, probably from the village, picked up the 19 shattered bodies and made a hasty retreat from an area where shooting is not allowed. They will be hailed as heroes. Some do not know any better.

Something needs to be done by the ones who know: the politicians.

Allied Newspapers Ltd 1998-2000



Eurobirder/Proact-Malta David Conlin 2001