This month our StoryBook Club visited our goodly mates in green, the merry men of Sherwood Forest to dig for clues and enjoy the tale of Robin Hood!
Robin answered King Richard the Lion Hearted's call for men and went off to join the Third Crusade. (there were several Crusades during the High Middle Ages...)
When Robin came back home (alive and well-seasoned as a fighter and happy to be back on his home soil) he found that times had changed.
Well, if you traipse off for several years, things do change. Especially if many of the nobility goes off with you, it doth leave the homeland unprotected and ripe for villians and brigands.
These brigands though, the ones that took over the land and stole property while the rightful owners were away fighting goodly causes (in their mind, at least) were of Noble blood.
Aye, they were high born vilians, chief among them was King Richard's own brother, Prince John. Let me set you up with a wee bit of English history, Richard and John were the sons of Eleanor of Aquitane and King Henry II. Queen Eleanor was actually, historically, the regent to Prince John while King Richard was away.
(So....Queen Eleanor was the Sir Hiss "technically"....
and Prince John did eventually become one of the worst Kings ever)
This of course, made us all want to watch again, the classic "The Lion in Winter" with Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole.
But surely I digress.
After digging into this olden tale, our gathered Storycologists have demised that Robin Hood was the peasant's saviour answer to Feudalism. Robbing the rich to give to the poor, was just the exact opposite of what Feudalism's "Pyramid Scheme" was doing to the masses. It was a way of getting "even" with the unjust system of not being able to own anything and being "owned" by others. A turning of the tables of sorts.
Robin is everyman....or every woman :)
Robbed of his inheritance, he tries to take it back and instead of claiming it for himself, gives to others. Of course, Robin was most likely a composite of several people in history, and he and his men were also thought of as robbers and thieves and did live off the land by stealing.
("It's the violence inherent in the system!")
and "There's a lovely bit of muck over here!")
But no matter.
One man's hero is another man's outlaw.
(for instance: Robin Hood, Jesse James, the guy from Wikileaks, Rodney King, Dr. Kevorkian....etc...)
We celebrate the little guy with the big dream.
And we celebrated too!
Here is our table set for us at Heather's house:
Our wondrous repast brought by those gathered featured: Shepherds' Pies, Assorted Cheeses (Stilton, Goat Cheese, Brie), Raspberries, Fruited crusty bread, "Merry Men Grape Salad" (delicious with grapes, vanilla yogurt and sugared pecans!) and "Chocolate Stout Cupcakes", Wine and Guinness.
It was a WONDROUS feast.
And for dessert? Why....The classic Disney's Robin Hood of course!
Next month's Story?
Scheherazade and the tales of the Arabian Nights!