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Little Red Robin Hood
(Inspired by Chad Orzel)

The boy ran through the forest in a peculiar way for a wayward child. Periodically he would stop, hide, and wait to ensure he wasn't followed. Twice, he ran past a large boulder only to carefully double-back over his own steps, brush off his shoes, and then climb over the boulders for a few hundred yards. Occasionally, he would whistle a strange bird call-like whistle.

At last, he came to a clearing where three dozen men, women, and children cooked, washed, and camped. A large man wearing a white woolen tunic, greyed with use in the forest, was sitting on a log trimming his tonsure. The Cistercian looked up at the new arrival and greeted him "What news, Young Richard?".

Catching his breath, the boy said "Word in town is that Sir Roger is expecting his steward to return from London tomorrow with over 10 pounds in copper and silver coin from selling his tenants wool. This will be a great time to strike at the Bou--, bourzw--, uh --"

"The rich, boy, just call them the rich." Tuck sighed. Robin had obviously been talking to Young Richard. For himself, he found the evangelical councils he had undertaken to be sufficient cause to take up the task of helping the poor regain wealth taken from them by their lords in rent and taxes. He didn't understand Robin's need to talk of politics, of class (whatever that was), and to use french terms -- incorrectly, in Tuck's mind -- to refer to the rich and poor.

A small man, shorter even than Young Richard, entered the clearing dressed in green leathers. "What luck this news. With knowledge of when the money is coming, we will be able to further this glorious revolution and redistribute the ill-gotten wealth back to the workers who earned it. Sleep well, lads, for tomorrow we reclaim the labors of the vast Proletariat!"

With that, he grabbed his bow from his camp, and headed off into the forest to hunt dinner for his men.

A man, dressed in darkened red clothes, came up to the outlawed friar. "I hate it when he gets like that. What was Robin saying this time?".

Tuck sighed, "He said tomorrow we are, once again, going to rob from the rich to give to the poor. That's all you need to know for now."

Later that evening, Tuck and the rest of the merry band were sitting around the camp fire. Robin was talking about how he viewed them living and working as a group. Tuck was not surprised when they they turned to him to explain, in plain terms, what Robin was talking about. "He means that we should live like I did in Fountains Abbey. Each of us should forsake the accumulation of earthly goods and work, as a group, towards the upkeep and betterment of the group as a whole."

"Almost, good Friar, but with a crucial difference. Where your abbey was ruled by the Abbot, I propose that the communal farms, workshops, and villages we will live and work in be ruled by consensus, or failing that, democratic debate and voting."

Tuck knew disagreeing with his friend would be pointless. He knew, from experience, that it didn't work that way. He had watched the bickering, he had attended countless committees, he had seen how weak the Abbot was in running the Abbey. He had watched as Friar Thomas had taken advantage of his "green thumb" to get the best cell, a softer cot, and linens to wear under his tunic -- and how the Abbot looked the other way at these transgressions. He knew, from bitter experience, how much the monks depended upon and overworked the novices. While he admired the vision Robin had, his disgust at seeing how it actually worked was one of the major reasons he left the abbey those many years ago.

Tuck settled in to sleep for the night. Tonight he'd sleep, tomorrow he'd steal from the rich, the day after they'd give to the poor, and perhaps soon Robin will get over his current obsession. He can only hope.

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You know, some say puns are the lowest form of humor. By mixing it with a shaggy dog, you've reached new depths.

can't escape the politics these centuries

good take on the myth. You may remember the Mutch, the millers son, was part of that band.

can't escape the politics these centuries

good take on the myth. You may remember that Mutch, the millers son, was part of that band.

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