June 30, 2022

#08-219: How Robin Hood Met Little John

Robin Hood meets Little John

Note: How the famous outlaw met his "right-hand man."

Get Ready: Do you have any friends who were at first rivals, and only became friends later?

You may recall the legendary English outlaw Robin Hood, who with his Band of Merry Men lived in Sherwood Forest, whence they "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor."

One day Robin was out alone, looking for adventure. As he approached a stream crossed by a bridge made from a single log, he saw a large, strong-looking man coming from the other side. Both sped up, trying to be the first to cross, but they reached the their respective ends at the same time.

"Stand back," said Robin, "and let the better man cross first."

"No," answered the stranger, "you stand back, for I am the better man."

"If you don't stand back," said Robin, "I'll shoot an arrow between your ribs."

"Then you are a coward," answered the stranger, "for you have a good bow, while I have nothing but a plain wooden staff."

"Now," said Robin, "no one has ever called me a coward! I will set aside my bow and arrows, and, if you will wait, I'll go cut a staff to test you with."

"I'll gladly wait," said the stranger, and leaned upon his staff until Robin returned.

Robin soon came back with a new-cut staff, and said, " Let us meet in the middle of the bridge, and see who can be the first to knock the other into the stream."

They fought more fiercely than the Knights of Arthur's Round Table. Usually when one struck, the other deftly turned the blow away. Enough blows landed to cause bumps and sore bones, however, but neither moved a finger's-breadth back or forth for one full hour. Neither thought of crying, "Enough."

At last, the stranger struck Robin so hard on the head that blood began to flow. This angered Robin; he overreached on his next blow, and the stranger knocked him into the water.

"Where are you now, my good lad?" shouted the stranger, roaring with laughter.

"Oh, floating down the stream," said Robin nonchalantly, and he also laughed at himself as he waded to the bank.

They shook hands, Robin praising the stranger for his skill, and the stranger complimenting him for taking his beating bravely and with good humor. The stranger introduced himself as "John Little," but Robin and his men decided that from then on, this giant of a man would be called "Little John."


Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. coward
  2. deftly
  3. fiercely
  4. lad
  5. merry
  6. nonchalantly
  7. overreached
  8. ribs
  9. waded
  10. whence

  1. a person who is afraid
  2. skillfully
  3. the bones that protect the chest
  4. a boy; young man
  5. stretched too far
  6. walked through water
  7. intensely; violently
  8. casually
  9. happy; carefree
  10. from where

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for June 30, 2022

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. a; 2. b; 3. g; 4. d; 5. i; 6. h; 7. e; 8. c; 9. f; 10. j