Joan T. Woodcock
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It's dusk. Supper is over, the village is settling in for the night. Robin Hood holds a sleepy toddler in each strong arm and is surrounded by other children, all happily sated and tired, looking up at their hero with eyes shining with love and admiration.

He begins singing a ballad about a lost love, singing very softly so that only his young audience can hear him, his voice mellow and soothing.

The children have heard Robin sing before. Out in the meadow where they go to play and Robin goes to meditate. Just the children and Robin. A chance for them to be close to their hero, just them and Robin Hood, no parents or other adults. A special bond.

For Robin, the time spent in the meadow with the children eases his weary, war-torn soul and reinforces his resolve to make England a safe place for all children to live and grow.

As the song progresses, Robin’s voice rises in volume as emotion carries the richness of his tenor voice through the village and towards the treetops to the star-studded night sky ¾ on the wings of song.

The adults of the village stop their evening chores, listening to this unexpected sound. They begin drifting out of their huts and tents, not recognizing the voice yet enthralled by its sheer purity and beauty. They silently gather at the edge of the clearing and stop, stunned by the sight in front of them.

Robin Hood, the mighty and fierce warrior who protects them all, is sitting on the ground, encircled by their children. The dying flames of a fire illuminate his handsome face, flickering bronzed light over his sable, honey-streaked hair. His eyes are closed as he faces the night sky, so dark yet so alive with an abundance of sparkling stars. He is lost in the poignancy and emotion of the story of young lovers who were never meant to be. He looks heartbreakingly young as he sings, young, vulnerable, and sad...so sad. More than one hand, roughened from hard work, spotted by age, female and male alike, surreptitiously wipes away a tear.

And finally, on a high note worthy of God’s beloved angels themselves, Robin finishes the song. His noble head drops, his eyes remain closed, and silence blankets the village. The children and adults of the village are so entranced by the magical spell woven by their leader that they are loathe to
                                                                                     disturb the quiet ...

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