I watch him from the sidelines, my leader of men. He walks through the camp, touching a shoulder here, bending to better hear a conversation there. He looks over to me and winks, smiling that special smile he saves just for me.

He’s so gentle here, among his people. It’s hard to believe that he’s a high born warrior. He treats them all as equals, showing no airs or graces.

We’d slept around the fires last night, wrapped in blankets. I’d had his warmth at my back as he curled around me, cradling me in his arms. This is the norm before a raid, the need to feel kinship, that sense of family.

He believes his men are loyal to him because of his superior fighting skills. I don’t believe that. I believe that it’s his loyalty to his men that inspires them to fight beside him; to fight for the good of the common people.

Pride swells my chest, just looking at what he’s achieved. They’d been a disorganised rabble, these men of the forest, fighting amongst themselves for every scrap of food. Now they’re a brotherhood, banding together to save their families.

The season’s getting colder though, we need to prepare for the coming winter. We have shelter, hidden within the dense forest, far from the prying eyes of the Sheriff. Fallen branches and peat provide a plentiful supply of fuel, we have meat and fish preserved in the smoke houses, fruit and nuts stored. Water’s abundant here in the river valley. What we are lacking is grain, both for our consumption and for the horses and the few milk cows we keep. And, of course ale. Tuck will bring down the wrath of God if we neglect that!

There’s a commotion at the edge of the camp and Will bursts through the bushes. “Robin! The supply train’s coming.” 

He drops a kiss on my nose. “Be safe,” he whispers, my gentle man of the hood. He gathers up his bow and quiver. 

We steal to live, so our people thrive. That’s a good enough reason… isn’t it?

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    2 years ago

    A familiar story made new. Inspiration can unite and create force for change! 

    Genya Johnson
    Genya Johnson(@genya-johnson)
    2 years ago

    Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest. He was such an inspiration to so many. A lovely story Carrie.

    Reply to  Carrie OLeary
    2 years ago

    Aha, Carrie, you beat me to the punch! I was just remembering that you actually live in Nottinghamshire. I grew up reading about the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin and Friar Tuck and Maid Marian and all the Merry Men. I didn’t realize that Sherwood Forest was a real place until I started studying geography! Great story. You had me mesmerized for the entire time.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    2 years ago

    Very entertaining and inspiring. A very nice story with a Robin Hood theme. It was very easy to understand. I will surely share it with my daughter at bedtime. Good job. I love it.

    Last edited 2 years ago by Lotchie Carmelo
    Greene M Wills
    Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
    2 years ago

    Maid Marian gained a different perspective living with the outlaws in Sherwood Forest for sure! Robin was a leader because he played the first among equals and they gained the inspiration and will to fight for something they all ended up believing in. I really loved the story and its wonderful pitch!

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    2 years ago

    Who doesn’t love a Robin Hood story Carrie? It’s not easy to bring a fresh perspective but you’ve achieved this perfectly in showing us a gentler side to this leader of men. I absolutely loved every word of this.

    Marianna Pieterse
    Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
    2 years ago

    I enjoyed reading the Robin Hood story from a different perspective. The line “Robin! The supply train’s coming.” creates such a feeling of excitement; then there is that hint of doubt at the end. This is a very captivating story.

    Alan Kemister
    Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
    2 years ago

    Ah, the legends of Robin Hood and Maid Marian will never go out of fashion, and if your ‘hood’ is Nottinghamshire…
    Great starting point for an ‘inspiration’ story and this one gives an interesting, but more domesticated, slant on the legend. Not the Maid Marian that in my hazy recollection was more often than not admired from afar.

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    2 years ago

    What a great idea to tell the story from Marian’s perspective! I love it that she can see the true reasons why Robin is loved and respected by his men. It reminds me of something I recently read about researchers having discovered that alpha males in animal groups are not the strongest or most aggressive ones, but those with empathy and care for the individuals. A very well told story!

    Sandra James
    Sandra James(@sandra-james)
    2 years ago

    I often think that for every story there are a thousand more and this is a wonderful example. The Man of the Hood touched many people in many different ways and I enjoyed the way you slowly revealed his identity. Well done 🙂

    Dipayan Chakrabarti
    Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
    2 years ago

    The central idea is old wine in new bottles, but you’ve made it look like a new idea.

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