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Written by Hamid Beza Beidaghi
English text by Yuko Saito

nce upon a time, there was a forest where many animals live. Every year the animals would choose a new leader from among themselves.
  One evening at the end of the year, the animals were sitting together, discussing how to choose a new leader for the next year.
  "Shall we have the strongest of us all for our leader?" said the lion.
  "No, not this time. We've done that before," said the deer.
  "Shall we choose the cleverest of all, then?" said the fox.
  "No. We've done that before, too," said the boar.
  "Shall we choose the fastest of all?" said the cheetah.
  "No. We've also done that before," said the tortoise.

et's try something new," the tortoise went on. "How about we choose the most beautiful of us all? I would like our leader to be beautiful."
  "Oh, that's interesting," said the tiger." But who is the most beautiful? I've never thought about it."
  "Well, we can run a beauty contest and decide," said the tortoise. "How about running one tomorrow?"
  The other animals got excited.
  "That's a good idea!"
  "Let's do it!"
  Then everybody went home, thinking this way and that about how to look more beautiful so that he could win the contest.

he deer thought that he would look magnificent if he wore the lion's mane. So, the next morning, he went to see the lion and said, "Will you lend me your mane for the contest?"

―― 以下略 ――

【表紙の画像】 ☆☆☆☆☆☆ 絵: Hamid Reza Beidaghi ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆