Stay Away From Sherwood Forest
Sherwood forest was swarming with outlaws. It was dangerous to even ride through it. If you do, you run the risk of being relieved of your purse, and all your other valuables.
However, your life, being the most valuable of all your possessions, is never at risk. The reason for this is, those outlaws are "noble" outlaws!
Confused? Read on! Here is a flash forward.
"Rise, noble outlaw!" says Richard the Lionhearted when the CEO of these outlaws kneels before him.
These outlaws were known as the "Merry Men." Their mission statement was "rob from the rich and feed the poor."
Cool! Good enough to enter Lionheart's top ten!
The King, Local Heroes, And Merry Men
Heroes of the likes of the Merry Men lived within the pages of history books as well as in the pages of comic books.
The need for heroes arises out of oppression. Total oppression reigns when there is no opposition. This is where the likes of Robin Hood comes in handy.
The oppression committee was headed by none other than the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham.
He was a mean cat. Whenever he could, he took everything he could from the poor and stuffed his pockets.
Injustice was the order of the day, and was justifiable since it was meted out by the land's lawmakers.
Robin Hood was an ordinary guy, but an extraordinary archer. As a teenager, he participated and excelled in many an archery contest.
He was highly respected by the city's top archers who used to chill out at the local bow and arrow shops in Nottingham.
Richard the Lionhearted or "Lion-heart" as he was known in some publications, was the King of England and owner of the nation's deer population.
The killing of one of these animals by any civilian would immediately lower him to outlaw status, disqualifying him from civilian status.
This is exactly happened to Robin Hood. He was tricked by a forester into shooting a deer, the king's deer.
"Oh dear!" said Robin Hood to himself. "What have I done?"
Enter - The Outlaw
Hanging around in the city after being proclaimed an outlaw was unwise.
So Robin Hood heads for the forest to live there in hiding for the rest of his life.
En route he has an encounter with a giant of a man by the name of John Little.
Robin Hood challenges this man to a fight over an issue which arises over the use of a makeshift bridge.
Coming from opposite sides, they both meet in the middle of the bridge. The question arises as to who should make way for whom.
Robin Hood loses the fight badly, but notices some traits in the giant very much to his liking. He then invites the giant to join him on a journey into fighting injustice and tyranny.
Little John, Friar Tuck, And Maid Marian
The giant agrees, and Robin Hood mockingly re-names him Little John. In similar fashion many more join Robin Hood and his growing band.
Friar Tuck was one of the many who joined Robin Hood's gang in similar fashion ... I mean after a heated quarrel followed by a fierce fight!
Most of those who joined had been at some time at the receiving end of some injustice by the courtesy of the Sheriff of Nottingham or some other similar weirdo.
It is only a matter of time before Maid Marian, Robin Hood's fiancée finds her way into Sherwood forest and drops anchor there.
In the meantime the band gains popularity by virtue of their virtues and gets to get called Robin Hood and the Merry Men.
They swarm into the city and fight the Sheriff's men in order to rescue anyone who has been unjustly imprisoned. Many a wrong gets put right by Robin Hood and his gang of merry men.
They created a trend with their own brand of justice and their snowballing popularity in the city annoys the Sheriff of Nottingham beyond his capacity to get annoyed.
The Sheriff Of Nottingham Plans To Capture Robin Hood
The Sheriff of Nottingham is totally vexed by this interference to his activities, and makes many unsuccessful attempts to capture Robin Hood and company.
On one occasion, the Sheriff arranges a sports event, an archery contest hoping that Robin Hood, famed for his shooting prowess would take part.
"When he comes over to participate, we just capture him," announces the Sheriff. Cool! Childishly simple!
The day of the contest arrives and there is much celebration to announce the opening. The Sheriff declares the shooting games open and on doing so, notices Robin Hood's absence and announces as loud as he can that Robin Hood is most shamefully absent.
The archers then fire away, some hitting the target, some close enough, and some not hitting anything at all! Then comes the finals. Only the top three enter the finals.
One of the guys in the finals is a poorly dressed man with a black patch over one eye. This stranger was at first jeered by the crowd because of the black patch over his left eye. However, he proved good enough to enter the finals.
The finals get under way. One of the archers fired and came close to the center. The second one shoots and hits the exact center. "That's it," declares the Sheriff. "The contest is over."
Then the stranger with the black patch over his left eye comes forward and appeals to the Sheriff to let him try out a shot as well, "although" he declares "I am aware that I cannot better the shot fired by the second archer." The Sheriff quite generously grants him permission to have a go.
The Archery Contest And The Golden Arrow
The second archer's arrow which had hit the exact center of the target remains embedded in it when the stranger with the black patch takes aim and fires.
The stranger's arrow follows it's trajectory and hits the precise center of the rear of the protruding arrow of the second archer, splitting the second archer's arrow into two.
The onlookers are astonished. Never before had they witnessed shooting of that standard. The Sheriff is astonished too. Beyond words. He simply gazes open mouthed at the stranger with the black batch over the left eye.
Then ... quite rightly ... and dramatically ... the stranger with the black patch over his left eye, and poorly dressed too, is declared the best archer in all England. The Sheriff hands over to him his award, a golden arrow.
The stranger thanks the Sheriff profusely and he is on his way, back to wherever he came from.
The Shooting Star! - Guess Who?
There is some consolation for the Sheriff that Robin Hood has been humiliated by a total stranger, with a black patch over an eye, and poorly dressed too.
While rejoicing over this, suddenly an arrow whizzes past the Sheriff's nose and hits a nearby tree. Attached to the arrow is the black patch that covered the left eye of the poorly dressed stranger, along with a note written by the stranger himself, now without a black patch over his left eye!
The note says, "here is my black patch in return for the golden arrow!" and signed "Robin Hood."
Merry Men In The Sherwood Forest ... Archery ... Games Of Skill
King Richard - Richard The Lionhearted
So ... it was Robin Hood after all! Robin Hood had been the stranger with the black patch over his left eye ... and poorly dressed too!
This news generates much rejoicing everywhere except in the Sheriff's quarters. There is only one thing left for the Sheriff to do, and he does just that.
He complains to Richard the Lionhearted. King Richard had already heard of the activities of the Merry Men and their leader Robin Hood. The King is somewhat amused too!
One of the King's advisers suggests that the King rides into the forest himself and check it all out firsthand.
A few days later, King Richard, disguised as a peasant rides all by himself into Sherwood Forest. Surely enough the King soon encounters the Merry Men.
Not recognizing the King, they invite "the peasant" to join them in the partaking of a meal. The King readily accepts the offer.
The meal is grand indeed. Really fit for a king. There is much fun, games and merrymaking too. Robin Hood then proclaims, "Let us now drink a toast to King Richard the Lionhearted."
To this the peasant reacted by asking "why drinkest thou to King Richard when thou art an outlaw in his very kingdom?" Robin Hood boldly replies "Nay! Richard hath outlawed me not. T'is but the foul laws of the evil doers that hath outlawed me!"
The Game Is Up! - Rise, Noble Outlaw!
The merrymaking continues long afterwords. Games and contests mostly associated with strength and skill get under way.
However, it does not take long for the King's true identity to be revealed. It is then that Robin Hood kneels before the King.
"Rise noble outlaw." "Thou art more noble than most of the noblemen that I know of."
So, that marks the end of an enterprise. Led by King Richard, the Merry Men and their leader ride out of Sherwood Forest.
Happy men indeed! Now that they all have government jobs, freedom, status, and of course the right to live happily ever after.
And they surely do!
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© 2008 quicksand
quicksand (author) on July 06, 2010:
History usually is! Or isn't it? :)
connor on July 06, 2010:
is this true