RIASSUNTI DEI CAPITOLI
Robin Hood was born near the end of the twelfth century. At that time England had many problems.
King Richard was away on a crusade. His brother, John, was a cruel and greedy king. His men were arrogant and brutal. The poor people paid very high taxes to King John.
One day, the cruel sheriff of Nottingham killed Robin’s father, and took away his lands. He escaped to Sherwood Forest with his loyal servants. The king considered them outlaws. Robin and his outlaws took only from rich merchants, noblemen and fat churchmen. They, than, gave this money to the poor. Soon other honest men joined the outlaws of Sherwood Forest: Nat, Will Scarlet and others.
One day Robin saw enormous young man. He was very tall. They began to fight on the bridge. The enormous man pushed Robin into the water, he was very strong.
His name was Little John. He was an honest man. He had fought with good King Richard’s men in the Holy Land and had made swords for him. He didn’t want to serve King John.
He was looking for Robin Hood. Then two men embraced and became good friends. Little John was an expert sword maker. Soon every outlaw had a new sword.
A big fat man lived in a cavern in Sherwood Forest. Robin went to the river and saw a fat friar who was fishing. Robin wanted a friar because the outlaws needed the word of God.
Robin lifted the enormous friar with great difficulty. Then he carried him across the river.
The friar started to carry Robin Hood across the river too but he said that Robin smelt like an old rat. And so the friar threw Robin into the cold water. The friar’s name was Michael Tuck; he had a quarrel with his abbot who was very greedy and rich; he never helped the poor and he had forgotten God’s teachings.
Finally the two men, Robin and friar, shook hands and promised to be friends for life.
Some years passed, Robin continued robbing the rich to give to the poor. Robin Hood called this “The Sherwood tax”. All the rich travellers who passed through Sherwood Forest paid it. The sheriff of Nottingham sent an army to capture Robin Hood. But Robin and his men killed all the soldiers except one. The sheriff was furious because the people laughed at him. King John was furious, too. His subjects loved King Richard and hated him.
King John said they had to capture Robin Hood; he could pay a hundred pieces of gold for Robin Hood, dead or alive. From that day on, Robin’s life was in great danger.
When Robin Hood was a boy, his best friends were Marian Fitzwater and her brother, Mark. Robin loved only maid Marian and she loved only him.
One-day Marian’s father said to her there was a very rich nobleman who wanted to marry her. His name was Sir Guy of Gisbourne.
Marian didn’t want to marry him because she loved Robin Hood. She decided to run away to join Robin Hood. She disguised herself as a knight and went to Sherwood Forest.
They met in the forest. They didn’t recognise each other. When they finished to fight, she took off her helmet and Robin was very surprised. Then they kissed.
Friar Tuck married them after a few days. There was a big wedding celebration in the forest.
Robin Hood’s fame was everywhere. The sheriff’s men didn’t want to go to Sherwood Forest. They were afraid.
The sheriff said he didn’t need anyone. He left for Sherwood Forest alone. Suddenly, a group of outlaws made a big circle around the sheriff. The sheriff was terrified. His face became white. Robin Hood looked at the sheriff with disgust. He wanted to kill him too. But Marian stopped him!
At the end of the meal Robin said sheriff had to give them everything he had and he had to take off all his clothes, and so he returned to Nottingham naked.
Everyone looked at him. They pointed at him and laughed loudly. They cried long life to Robin Hood.
The sheriff knew how they could capture Robin Hood.
He planned an archery competition in Nottingham; the prize for the best archer was the famous silver arrow.
Robin said he had to go to the competition, he never refused a challenge. He would disguise himself as a poor peasant. Robin and his outlaws went to the archery competition. All around the castle square there were difficult targets. There were many excellent archers at the contest. But Robin was the winner! The sheriff was silent. He knew that the peasant with the red cloak and hood was Robin.
The sheriff’s guard ran to capture Robin, but Robin’s men attacked the guards and killed or injured most of them. Then they quickly left Nottingham and returned to Sherwood Forest. When they arrived they celebrated their victory.
Robin and Marian were walking through the forest when they saw a young man sitting near a river. His name was Alan a’Dale, he loved a girl called Alice and she loved him, too. But her father wanted her to marry a rich old baron. The marriage was next mourning at Papplewick Church.
Robin said he had a plan. Robin sent his best archers to Papplewick. They hid inside the church and all around it. Robin, Friar Tuck and Alan a’Dale disguised themselves as simple peasants. Then they went to Papplewick.
When the bishop began the marriage ceremony, Robin stood up and said the bishop didn’t have to marry them. Robin’s men stood up and pointed their bows and arrows at the guards. Friar Tuck married the happy couple at Papplewick Church.
Alan a’ Dale and Alice lived in Sherwood Forest with Robin, Maria and the outlaws.
One evening Robin was hunting in the forest, he saw a knight who wore the red cross of the Crusader. He had come from the Holy Land. He had been there for many years, he fought against the Turks.
Robin said he could stay with the outlaws that night. The two men rode through the forest together. Robin told the stranger about greedy King John and his wicked sheriff. He told him how the poor people suffered. He explained why he became an outlaw.
Then the stranger stood up, took off his head-covering, and said to the outlaws he wasn’t a knight, he was their King Richard also called “the Lionheart”!
He knew that his brother John and his men were dishonest and greedy. He was there to punish the bad and bring justice to all. he said Robin’s men weren’t outlaws anymore. They were free men and all his friends. The lands of Locksley were Robin’s lands again.
The following morning he rode to Nottingham with Robin, Marian and his friends of Sherwood Forest.
When the sheriff saw them, he ran away and never returned. Robin, Marian and Little John went to Locksley. Some of the outlaws returned to their old homes and villages. Some went looking for adventure. Others became soldiers in the King’s army.
In everyone’s heart, there was a beautiful memory of the years spent in Sherwood Forest.
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