Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

Robin Hood

Your land is ruled by villains. The law works against good people, forcing heroes to live as criminals. Someone must put a stop to this: you. Escape into Sherwood Forest, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime. Do you have what it takes to defeat the evil Sheriff of Nottingham? Or will his army of soldiers thwart your noble plans? Step into this story, and choose your path. But choose wisely, or else! Interactive books for kids are more popular than ever. Create your own adventure with the Can You Survive? book series for boys and girls.

Free Excerpt

***

It is summer in England, a time when the forests are green and flowers decorate the meadows. The year is 1185, and the country is ruled by King Henry, who sits upon his throne in faraway London. You are a brave youth with a bold heart. Your name is Robin Hood.

The Sheriff of Nottingham oversees your part of the country. He is a cruel man whose guards patrol the land. For years, his troops—members of the King’s Guard—have bullied the poor peasants. Because of the guards, these poor people must give almost all of their money to the Sheriff. You are forced to live as an outlaw, hiding in Sherwood Forest with your Merry Men.

Bad dreams often wake you early, and this day is no exception. You decide to test your bow by traveling into the woods alone. There is a small brook near the southwest edge of Sherwood, where herds of deer are known to stop and drink.

Before you can depart, a crash sounds in the forest nearby. You spy a young man—a child younger than you—dashing toward camp. He’s out of breath when he reaches you.

“What is it?” you ask.

The boy swallows a lungful of air. “Along the Great North Road. Men on horseback. Archers.”

“There are many archers in England,” you answer.

“They spoke of a contest. A grand shooting match in Nottingham. The winning prize is a golden arrow!”

Your best friend, Little John, lumbers over. “What’s the commotion?”

“The Sheriff is hosting a shooting match,” you say.

Little John shakes his head. “This shooting match is a trap. The Sheriff wishes to lead you there.”

“Then he shall not see me,” you say with a smile. “Wake the others, John.”

The outlaws are roused from their sleep and are soon gathered together.

You step atop a large boulder and speak to them. “Merry Men, the Sheriff of Nottingham has proclaimed a shooting match. The prize is a bright golden arrow. It is a prize we would gladly have.”

Despite your excitement to be in the contest, you know it’s a risky idea. Perhaps there’s a safer way to bring the golden arrow back to Sherwood. After all, you could always sneak in and steal the arrow.

All eyes are upon you. You must decide your course of action. Will you go there to win? It is possible to do so in disguise. Or would it be better to steal the arrow with your Merry Men? What will you choose to do?

Attend the shooting match.

Steal the arrow.

***

Attend the shooting match.

Your hasty decisions have often landed you in trouble, but you feel sure that today is not one of those times. Your mind is set.

“I’ll attend the shooting match in disguise,” you tell the others. “I’ll shoot for the golden arrow. If I win it, we’ll share its wealth with the poor and needy.”

“Hurray!” shouts the band.

“Some of you will disguise yourselves as friars, some as peasants. All will carry a good bow or sword, in case the need should arise. Will you follow me?”

The Merry Men shout in support. And so you gather your bow and arrows. You put on a tattered robe with a large hood. On your left eye, you place a leather patch. The disguise is so good that even Little John needs a moment to recognize you.

The rest of the Merry Men hide their identities as well, and you set off along the Great North Road.

It is nearly noon when you reach Nottingham. The town is a fair sight to see. A row of benches stretches along the meadow beneath the town wall. Across from the benches, a railing has been placed to mark the boundary for peasants to stand. Between the benches and the railing, a shooting range stands fifty paces wide. At one end is the target; at the other, a tent of striped canvas. Near the target, a raised seat is decorated with ribbons and flowers. This spot is reserved for the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The benches have already begun to fill with noblemen, knights, and squires. Many of the poorer folks sit upon the green grass near the railing. It is time for your companions to go their separate ways.

You gaze across the range while your Merry Men take their places in the crowd. Little John stands in his friar robes. David of Doncaster, a slim man with a scar on his cheek, leans against a rail. His bow is hidden beneath loose beggar’s clothes. Yet it is the young woman beside him who makes your heart nearly stop.

“Maid Marian,” you whisper.

***

Steal the arrow.

“We must get the golden arrow before the contest begins. The question is how?”

The young boy who told you of the traveling party speaks up. “There was another party that passed me. It was a carriage guarded by the King’s men.”

Little John looks to you. “They could be heading for the western gate of Nottingham. The hidden entrance near the river crossing.”

“They wish to enter the city in secret,” you say.

“Does the carriage hold our treasure?” asks the brave Will Stutely.

“I’m sure of it,” you reply. “If we hurry, we can reach the river crossing before that carriage does.”

The camp echoes with a mighty, “Huzzah!”

You lead the way through the woods, until at last you reach the river. You follow its winding trail west. The Merry Men position themselves about the path, hidden from view.

Soon, you hear the clopping of horse hooves and the squeak of a rusty carriage. The King’s men, four in all, guard the carriage on all sides.

As the horsemen approach, you step onto the path. Little John joins you, as does Will.

“Ho there!” you cry.

The guardsmen reach for their blades. “Clear the path,” one of them says.

“Not until we relieve you of the treasure you carry. A golden arrow, I presume?”

The guards look to one another suspiciously.

You were correct; the treasure is within your grasp. You step to the carriage boldly and swing open the small, wooden door.

Suddenly, you feel a hot sting of pain as a blade stabs your gut.

From the carriage, a towering man steps out. He wears a horse’s hide from head to foot, with a mask to hide his face. In his hand, he holds his sword, which has just cut you deeply.
The man pulls the blade back, and you fall to the ground. “The Sheriff was right to think you’d attack our wagon,” he sneers.

Behind you, Little John shouts, “Merry Men, attack!”

A great clamor arises from all sides. But you will not see the outcome of this battle. Your fighting days are done. You close your eyes, picture your beloved Marian smiling at you, and breathe your last breath.