Iran’s Flamingo #13 of the Caspian Sea is a story that allows the audience to comprehend the greed of once a virtuous man, Solomon. Flamingo #13 of the Caspian encapsulates Iran’s culture and symbolises their infatuation with flamingos after being classified as the most beautiful across the globe. Solomon’s rapacity can be identified through the descriptions of how “the bird encompassed the entirety of his ambition” and how he neglects his family, clearly illustrating his desires to illegally capture the flamingo. The ending of the story was what really touched me. Solomon scares the bird and viciously follows the creature into the water only to be trampled by a wave. What occurs next is unclear, but he turns into a flamingo, only being discovered after a year later by his wife who instantly recognised his identity. The moral of the story could be that it’s not worth to abandon what’s dear to you and be grateful with what you currently have. Iran leads 3–0 in the first half!
Linda Burgess’ short story Home Front is perceived through a female protagonist returning back to her home country after settling in America. The piece is similarly as touching to Iran’s but also explores reminiscence and time as a theme. We see the struggles of what it's like to return to your home’s country after a long period and how her identity is of an outsider. However, despite the story being interesting and emotional, I still favoured Flamingo #13 of the Caspian as I found it more mesmerising and had that aspect of fantasy which only fascinated me more. In the end, New Zealand loses 2–3, with Iran retaining their lead.