The only thing that I abhor in Malta is this so called “hunting” situation. It’s the one thing I really hate about this wonderful country. Men and boys wander the small amount of countryside left in Malta, shooting at birds. Every morning during hunting season, seven days a week, I am woken by the distressing sound of gunshots, and the shooting is repeated in the evenings. Sometimes it goes on during the day as well. It is amazing to me that a small number of people is allowed to disturb the peace for the population of an entire town. On my morning walks outside the village, I see boys and men stalking the walking tracks and open spaces, carrying loaded guns. Many of them wear army camouflage gear for goodness sake; is it so the birds can’t see them? A gun against defenseless birds isn’t enough of an advantage? I have the distinct feeling it’s all about machismo and a craving for the feeling of power. It must be said, however, that it is a pathetic individual indeed, who needs to kill wild birds with a gun to feel powerful or manly.