Sherwood Forest

May 22, 2008 in England, Europe, Travelogue

< ![CDATA[  Is there anything better than spending a lazy afternoon in the shadow of the huge oak, purported to be that of Robin Hood’s hideout, watching three merry little men re-enact what they know of the stories? I think not. I am sure I heard the distant bugling of Robin’s horn as we cycled through the bowers on our way to the Sherwood Forest Park. We delayed a whole day to be sure we’d have enough time to properly do homage to the robber-hero in lincoln green. No one was disappointed. Sherwood Forest is made up, primarily, of oak and silver birch trees. The oaks are truly spectacular. Their branches twist and turn, reaching for the sky like so many fingers of a knarled and ancient hand. By contrast, the birches weave elegantly toward the sky, filling in the shadowy spaces between the oaks with a green just the color one imagines Robin’s jaunty cap to be. Megan and I combed through the dead leaves beneath the trees for a good hour looking for acorns as souvenirs. I must say, the squirrels last fall did a good job, as we were hard pressed to find anything beyond the smallest, funkiest acorns. We pressed a couple of leaves and a couple of fallen scraps of birch bark to add to our treasures. The children were delighted to find a whole class full of seven year olds on a field trip to the forest. They were even more delighted to be asked to join in a game of “The Sheriff and Robin Hood,” a sort of hide and seek game in which half of the kids are the Sheriff’s men and half are Merry Men. They were from Derbyshire and were amazed that we had come so far to see their country. One little boy, hiding slightly behind his teacher’s skirt, admitted that we were hard to understand when we talked. Tony has gone into town to charge the computer and post this story. Meg and I are about the business of buttoning up for the night and packing the gear. The children are fed and cleaned and tucked into their tent to dream of Sherwood Forest lore. I will be sleeping with one ear out for bandits sneaking around in green jerkins and friars habits, but I think we’re safe. For one thing, we have no money. Secondly, our tent is lincoln green. Thirdly, three of the Merry Men, along with Maid Marion, have taken up residence in the other half of our tent, snoring loudly. Tomorrow when we wake from this dream we’ll cycle into town and board a train in Mansfield headed north toward Ambleside. I can’t wait to walk where Charlotte Mason walked and soak in the beautiful Lake’s District. The boys can’t wait to see Roman ruins and trade their lincoln greens for Roman armor and subdue the blue faced savages of the north. Have boys. Will travel.]]>