Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Today was a very long and exhausting day. I spent the whole day in Stepanagert running around, returning to Martuni in the dark and rain. I wont get into details as it was all the standard run-of-the-mill stuff.

I will tell you about something that happened yesterday, which I heard the conclusion of today.

I am a committee member of the Martuni water project, which is funded by USAID and managed by CRS (Catholic Relief Service). Part of my duty to the committee is to help manage a water project which is to resolve our water projects.

Yesterday I went to inspect work being done in an area near my new factory and while taking pictures of the pipes and work, I see walking towards the houses in the area a fox. Mind you, this was 11 AM and besides the chickens nearby eating from a garbage heap, there were people.

I didn�t notice in which direction the fox went after it went behind some building blocks, but figured that it was going towards the chickens that were eating garbage, so I walked towards that area to scare off the fox.

I neared the chickens and could not see the fox and suddenly, I could hear screaming up the street and could see some commotion. I ran over to see chickens running for their lives and a teenager chasing the fox, who jumped over a wall to escape a stoning the boy was giving it.

Next thing I see are men and young boys running out of their houses with shotguns. I really didn�t get a chance to count, but will estimate a dozen shotgun and maybe 30 people running after the fox.

I didn�t hear any shots, but later learned that they tracked down the fox, killing and skinning it.

I have to conclude that there is a very good chance that this year we will not have a mouse problem in our fields, as if we had mice, most probably the fox would have been stuffed with the little rodents, rather than coming into Martuni in broad daylight, looking for chicken to feed on.

I have to tell you that I felt sorry for the poor fox, but also understand that people can�t allow such a creature to come into the city and make off with their chickens which they raise to feed their families.

I also feel a little bit safer to know that many of my overly protective neighbors have shotguns and in the event of some threat (man or animal) from outside our neighborhood, I believe they know how to deal with it.

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