Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle
Many years ago there was a lad• from Locksley Town. This lad had deep blue eyes and hair the colour of gold. And he always carried a bow•. One day, the lad saw a poster•. It was for an archery• competition• in faraway Nottingham Town. ‘I am good with a bow and arrow•. I can win that,’ he thought. So he began walking.
The journey from Locksley to Nottingham was long, but the sun was shining and the birds were singing. The lad walked happily along. Soon, he came to a great forest and he met a group of men. They were eating under a tree. One of them looked up and spoke. He was ugly with big ears.
‘Hey, boy,’ he said, his mouth full of food. ‘Where are you going with that old bow?’
The others laughed, but the lad smiled.
‘I’m going to Nottingham,’ he said calmly, ‘to win the archery competition.’
When the men heard this, they laughed again. But the ugly one laughed the loudest.
‘Do you see that deer• in the distance?’ he asked. ‘Hit it and you can have all the money in my bag.’
Without a word, the lad lifted his bow and ired•. His arrow lew through the air.
It hit the deer and killed it.
The men couldn’t believe their eyes•. They stared• at the lad. No one could hit a deer from so far away, no one! The lad smiled. ‘I think you owe• me some money!’
The ugly man jumped to his feet. ‘Go away!’ he shouted. ‘Go on! Go away!’
The lad didn’t want to start a ight, so he turned and began walking again in the direction of Nottingham.
But the ugly man was angry now. Suddenly, he lifted his bow and ired at the lad. Just in time•, the lad turned and the man’s arrow lew past him. It missed•.The lad ired back at the man. His arrow didn’t miss. It hit the man’s heart and killed him there and then.
‘Murderer•!’ the men cried. ‘Catch him!’ But the lad disappeared into the trees.
Later, the group of men went to Nottingham to tell the sheriff about the death. The dead man was a cousin of the Sheriff of Nottingham. The sheriff was furious• when he heard the news.
‘Two hundred pounds for the murderer’s head,’ he shouted. And so the lad was now an outlaw• and the sheriff was his enemy•. He could no longer return to Locksley or go to Nottingham as a free man. But the lad with deep blue eyes and hair the colour of gold was safe. Deep in the green forest, he lay and dreamed of adventures to come.
And so began many adventures – because the forest was Sherwood Forest and the lad’s name was Robin Hood.