He was scared. As afraid as he had been all his life. Without his mother around to tell him what was bad or good he seemed to get in a lot of trouble now. And now he was hiding in the middle of a forest. Villagers looking for him. He didn't do anything. If only they would leave him alone. He tried to stifle his sobs. They might hear him. But he was so afraid. Suddenly he heard a noise. Someone was coming.
"Don't hurt me anymore." He cried. "I didn't do anything"
He heard a soft voice say. " I won't hurt you. Please come out"
He was frightened to look up. "You Promise" he whimpered.
"You have the word of Robin Hood!" the voice exclaimed.
Robin Hood, he heard of this man. His mother had told him of a great man who was once a nobleman; he now fought for the peasants. He knew he could trust this man. Sticking his head up he peeked out of the hole he hid in. He saw a lean handsome looking man. A sword hanging loosely in his hand. Davey looked at his eyes. They were soft and gentle. "The eyes are the windows to your soul. Me Mum would say. And I sees a good man." Robin smiled at him. It was a warm and friendly smile. He knew this was a man he could trust. Slowly he climbed out.
Robin had heard of a man that the villagers had beaten. They had said that he tried to hurt one of the children. After talking to the children he realized that the man was only trying to help the child. He went into the forest to look for him. Seeing him climb out of the hole he didn't realize that he would be so big. Surely he was at least a foot taller and twice as wide as Little John was. But his face showed an innocence found only in a child. As he stood he bend down. Trying to make his height not to imposing.
The giant stammered out "He…elllo"
"Well who might you be?" Robin asked as he put his sword away in its scabbard. He really wasn't sure what he would find. As the giant fiddled with his fingers he seemed to be thinking. Saying in a voice that would not have belonged to such a giant "I'm called David. Me Mum would call me Davey." Looking down disgusted he said in a low voice, "But the villagers would call me Goliath. I hate that name." he made a sour looking face. Robin could tell that calling him by this name had hurt him. Bringing out his hand Robin tried to shake the giants saying "Don't worry I'll never call you that. I'm glad to meet you Dav....umph"
The handshake was stronger than anything Robin ever felt before. Davey was enthusiastically shaking it. The biggest grin on his face as he gushed out. "So glad to meet t'cha. I'm so glad. Yep glad."
Grimacing Robin pulled his hand out of the vice grip. Flexing it, he shook it out, trying to get the blood circulating again. "Thats some grip you have there." He laughed. Davey wrung his hands in worry. Kicking at the ground and cursing himself. " Darn, I did it again didn't I. Sorry please forgive me. Mum always tells me to stop right away but sometimes I forget." Robin smiled up at the large child. For that is what he was, he was really only a child in a mans body. He had to be careful around him. Hopefully he wasn't dangerous.
"Thats alright Davey. You didn't hurt me, much." Robin chuckled. He looked up into the young mans face. He could see old scars. There was a fresh cut above his eye. Robin reached up and touched it gently. "Your hurt." Robin said with concern.
"I'm alright." Davey just shook it off. "Oh, I've been hurt alot worse than this, look!" lifting up his shirt, he showed Robin scars on his chest. Pointing at a particularly deep one he said. "Mum saved me on this one. If it wasn't for her I would've died." A deep sadness filled that face as he mentioned his mother.
"Tell me Davey. Where is your mother." Davey's eyes filmed over with tears. Wiping them he left black smears on his face from his dirty hands. "She's with the angels." He said in a small voice. "I went to wake her up, I forget how long, and she wouldn't answer me." his voice breaking, he sighed out deeply. This was really hard for him to talk about. "When I knew she was gone. I took her out, and placed her under her tree. She always told me. 'Davey if I ever leave you I want you to leave me under the weeping willow. So's it will always cry for me after I'm gone' So's Thats what I done. Left her there. That's what I want, if I ever goes, to be laid neath a weeping willow. To cry for me for always."
He smiled at Robin a big grin filling his face. "I put her best dress on. She would have liked that. Placed flowers all around her. Anyone passing by would say she looked real nice". He looked down at Robin for a sign of approval.
Robin felt something special from this manboy. He knew he needed protecting. A decision was made to take him back with him. He couldn't leave him alone out here in the forest. He wouldn't last long on his own. Patting him on the shoulder he said
"Yes Davey you did good" "Good" he said shaking his head up and down. "I likes to do good. I hates it when I get into trouble." winking at Robin he whispered "I always seem to get into a lot of trouble on account of my mouth. It never stops talking. Mum always said she had twins, me and my big mouth" Grinning once again he looked for approval.
Robin was finding it hard not to like Davey. "Do you have a place to go?"
Davey shook his head strongly. "Nope, me Mum was my only family. She said she always worried about me. What would happen to me if she died. But I can take cares of myself. " Adding in a small voice. "I think."
Robin placed his hand on the large mans shoulder. "What would you think of coming home with me. I know of a place where you can stay and make lots of friends. Ones that won't call you Goliath" Davey grabbed him by the shoulders.
Squeezing a little harder than he realized. Shaking he said, "You means it. I can live with you?" Robin grimaced from the pain in his shoulders. Reaching up he pried his hands off. "Too hard" he groaned to Davey. "Sorry" he stated backing off.
Robin realized that he was going to need alot of watching and reminding. Robin wondered briefly just what he was getting himself into. But he knew there was no other choice.
"It's okay Davey. Don't worry. Friends help each other, and forgive each other when something bad happens."
"You means you'll be my friend" he blurted out. Keeping his hands behind his back now.
"Of course if you want me to."
"But I never had a friend before. How do I act."
"Just be yourself and it'll be alright. Now are you ready to go." Robin slowly started back to his horse he left tied up a ways. Davey hesitated, but then skipped following him. He heard him babbling as they walked on "Gee I like your belt. I like the ways you wear your sword behind you. Never saw that before. Hows cum you do that? Hows cum your glove has no fingers." a slight pause and very faintly he heard "And what happened to the other glove!" Robin looked into the sky "Grant me strength" he wondered out loud.
***Meanwhile back at the village***
A troop of the Kings men rode into the village. In the lead was Captain William MacArdle. A man looking to make a name for himself. He had heard that Robin Hood was in the woods in this vicinity. If he could only capture him he knew he would achieve a favor in the Prince’s eye, perhaps a gift of a title? Robin Hoods capture meant that much to the King. As the villagers saw the men riding they ran to hide in their homes. He knew that most would not give the location of Robin Hood. But there was always someone in the bunch who was willing to loosen their tongues for a few silver coins. Looking up the road he saw someone who looked exactly the type. Riding up to the man he halted his horse beside him.
"You there what is your name"
The man looked up at the Captain. Wiping his hand across his face he gave him a mischievous look. "Please sir I be called Nathan, Nathan Daniels. I've done nothing sir" Captain MacArdle fought to cover his nose. The man ranked.
"I hope you could help me I'm looking for someone. If you can tell me where he is, I'll give you a handsome reward."
"Just who might you be lookin for?" The man asked.
Softly the captain said "Robin Hood."
The mans eyes lit up. "Robin Hood is it. Hmmm, I might have seen him. Perhaps even know in which direction he went. If the reward was big enough."
"Is this big enough?" The captain threw a small bag of silver.
Opening it the ugly mans face went white. Never had he seen so much silver in his life. Stammering he pointed into the forest. "He went into the North woods looking for the giant that was in the village. He only left a few hours ago I'm sure you'll catch up to him."
"Yes I'm sure I will. Oh and thanks for your help." Reaching down MacArdle pulled a dagger from his sleeve and promptly slit the mans throat.
As the man fell, he made sure to grab the bag of silver before he hit the ground. Looking down at the dying mans questioning eyes he said unemotionally " Sorry, but I don't think you'll need it where you'll be going. Smiling to himself he ordered his men to ride north.
Jeffries also looked down at the man, his expression was one of contempt for the thoughtless act, and sorrow for the slain villager. MacArdle glowered at him.
"Do you have something to say?"
"No, Sir." he answered. He urged his horse to catch up.
"With that conscious of yours Jeffries you'll never get anywhere in Prince Johns army."
"No sir, I suppose not." he answered. Ignoring Jeffries answer, MacArdle pondered on what lie ahead, Robin Hood was just a few hours ahead of him. He had to ride hard to catch up with Him. But he vowed that he soon would.
* * *
End of Chapter One