| Fifty Famous Stories Retold|
|by James Baldwin|
|Includes fifty legendary tales depicting certain romantic episodes in the lives of well-known heroes and famous men, or in the history of a people. Children naturally take a deep interest in such stories. The reading of them will not only give pleasure but will lay the foundation for broader literary studies, as nearly all are the subjects of frequent allusions in poetry and prose. Ages 6-9 |
A STORY OF ROBIN HOOD
 IN the rude days of King Richard and King John there were
many great woods in England. The most famous of these was
Sherwood forest, where the king often went to hunt deer.
In this forest there lived a band of daring men called
They had done something that was against the laws of the
land, and had been forced to hide themselves in the woods
to save their lives. There they spent their time in roaming
about among the trees, in hunting the king's deer, and in
robbing rich travelers that came that way.
There were nearly a hundred of these outlaws, and their
leader was a bold fellow called Robin Hood. They were
dressed in suits of green, and armed with bows and arrows;
and sometimes they carried long wooden lances and
broad-swords, which they knew how to handle well.
Whenever they had taken anything, it was brought and laid at the
feet of Robin Hood, whom they called their king. He then
divided it fairly among them, giving to each man his just
Robin never allowed his men to harm
anybody but the rich
men who lived in great houses and did no work. He was always
kind to the poor, and
 he often sent help to them; and for that reason the
common people looked upon him as their friend.
Long after he was dead, men liked to talk about
his deeds. Some praised him, and some blamed him. He was,
indeed, a rude, lawless fellow; but at that time, people did
not think of right and wrong as they do now.
A great many songs were made up about Robin Hood, and
these songs were sung in the
cottages and huts all over
the land for hundreds of years
Here is a little story that is told in one of those
Robin Hood was standing one day under a green tree by the
roadside. While he was listening to the birds among the
leaves, he saw a young man passing by. This young man was
dressed in a fine suit of bright red cloth; and, as he
tripped gayly along the road, he seemed to be as happy as
"I will not trouble him," said Robin Hood, "for
I think he is on his way to his wedding."
The next day Robin stood in the same place. He had not
been there long when he saw the same young man
the road. But he did not seem to be so happy this time.
 left his scarlet coat at home, and at every step he sighed
"Ah the sad day! the sad day!" he kept saying to himself.
Then Robin Hood stepped out from under the tree, and
"I say, young man! Have you any money to spare for my merry
men and me?"
"I have nothing at all," said the young man, "but five
shillings and a ring."
"A gold ring?" asked Robin.
"Yes," said the young man, "it is a gold ring. Here it is."
"Ah, I see!" said Robin; "it is a wedding ring."
"I have kept it these seven years," said the young man; "I
have kept it to give to my bride on our wedding day. We were
going to be married yesterday. But her father has
promised her to a rich old man whom she never saw. And now
my heart is broken."
"What is your name?" asked Robin.
"My name is Allin-a-Dale," said the young man.
"What will you give me, in gold or fee," said Robin, "if I
will help you win your bride again in spite of the rich old
man to whom she has been promised?"
 "I have no money," said
Allin, "but I will promise to be your servant."
"How many miles is it to the place where the maiden
lives?" asked Robin.
 "It is not far," said Allin. "But she is to be married
this very day, and the church is five miles away."
Then Robin made haste to dress himself as a harper; and in
the afternoon he stood in the door of the church.
"Who are you?" said the bishop, "and what are you doing
"I am a bold harper," said Robin, "the best in
the north country."
"I am glad you have come," said the bishop kindly.
"There is no music
that I like so well as that of the harp. Come in, and play
"I will go in," said Robin Hood; "but I will not give you
any music until I see the bride and bride-groom."
Just then an old man came in. He was dressed in rich
clothing, but was bent with age, and was feeble and gray. By
his side walked a fair young girl. Her cheeks were very
pale, and her eyes were full of tears.
"This is no match," said Robin. "Let the bride choose for
Then he put his horn to his lips, and blew three
times. The very next minute, four and twenty men, all
dressed in green, and
carrying long bows in their hands,
came running across the fields.
 And as they marched into the church, all in a row, the
foremost among them was Allin-a-Dale.
"Now whom do you choose?" said Robin to the maiden.
"I choose Allin-a-Dale," she said blushing.
"And Allin-a-Dale you shall have," said Robin;
"and he that takes you from Allin-a-Dale shall find that
he has Robin Hood to deal with."
And so the fair maiden and Allin-a-Dale were married then
and there, and the rich old man went home in a great
"And thus having ended this merry wedding,
The bride looked like a queen:
And so they returned to the merry green wood,
Amongst the leaves so green."
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