20 Nov 2009
The Curtal Friar of the Fountain
This picture illustrates a scene from Robin Hood. Can you tell me what happened in this episode in the life of Robin and his Merry Men?
It was spring. Robin Hood though it was time to go and see the old friar, and he told his Merry Men that he wanted to. One of his men said, “I’ll take you there, for I know the way well.”
Robin changed into his Lincoln green clothes. He chose three of his men to come with him, and they all set off to go to the friar.
They had not gone far before they were exhausted and they took a little rest. “Are we almost there, good fellow?” asked Robin Hood.
“Yes, we are almost there. See yonder stream? That is where the old friar lives, right across it.”
“My,” said Robin, “I would not have changed if I knew we had to cross the river, but never mind. It is no use turning back to change now – we are almost there. Let’s keep on going.”
So Robin Hood and the other men set off again down the edge of the stream. At one place Robin Hood said, “Stop,” to all of his men. “You wait here will I go to find the Friar. If I blow three times on my horn, it means come immediately.”
“It’s not fair,” said one of his gang. “We always sit here and miss out on all the fun while you are always enjoying it.”
“Ah,” said Robin Hood, “what a fool you are! Don’t you realise that you are better off where you are than where you want to be? Anyway, you wait here. I’m going to find the friar.”
Robin Hood had not gone far before he took a rest. He lay down on his tummy and listened. He heard something. It sounded like two men talking but their voices were exactly alike.
“I must look into this,” said Robin Hood, “for I have never heard anything like this in my whole life!”
Robin didn’t have to go far before he saw the man who was doing it, but there was only one.
“I was sure I heard two men,” thought Robin. “I heard them talking and toasting each other.”
Robin Hood saw an old man. He looked exactly like a friar but of course Robin Hood didn’t guess that it was his friar.
At first the friar did not know that Robin Hood was there. After a while Robin noticed that there was only one man and the friar was just toasting himself!
“I,” said the friar, “I toast thee for thy kindness to me,” and he picked up the goblet with his right hand and gave it to his left hand and drank heartily .
“I,” he said, “and I toast thee, good friar for being so merry with me.”
“Ah! It was nothing,’ said the friar, passing the goblet back to his right hand.
“Pray, merry fellow, do sing me a song! I have become very lonely these days. Sing me a song.”
“I am no good at singing,” said the friar once again, “but I will do my best, seeing that you have toasted me so nicely.” Then the old friar started up a song.
Finally Robin Hood could hold himself no longer and he burst out laughing and then joined in the song! It was a very funny sight for Robin Hood. The friar did not seem to notice that Robin Hood was there, nor to hear him when he joined in the song. He did not notice either when Robin chuckled at the end of the song. But at the very end the friar leaped up and said, “Who goes there?”
“It is only me,” said Robin Hood, with a big grin on his face, stepping forth from his hiding place.
“I am not sure that I am correct, but from the looks of thee and thine clothes, thou art a thief.”
No!” said Robin, “do not be so suspicious. I’m but a jolly fellow.”
“I’m not too sure,” said the friar.
Robin said once again, “Dear fellow, do please take me over this rough earth and this dirty stream, for my clothes will not bear the water.”
So the friar stopped what he was doing and thought and thought. Finally he said, “I am still a little suspicious, but I will do it.”
“That’s a merry fellow!” said Robin Hood, who was quite pleased that he did not have to damage his clothes after all.
(I stopped her here!!)