The History Lesson

By Adrienne Mokarry
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"Come on, Marian, look!!"

Keeping my eyes shut, I shook my head violently. "No way!!"

"We can't do this if you don't open your eyes."

"Maybe today was a bad day to do this, Robin. Let's go."

"Nope. We're gonna do this. Today. Now."

Opening one eye a crack, I peeked around. All that I knew was that Robin and I were sitting on a branch at the top of the tallest tree in Sherwood Forest. The sun was shining off the lake below. Way below. I crammed my eyes shut. How did he ever get me up here?

"I can't do this, Robin," I moaned. "I'm terrified!"

"It's easy," he replied, smoothly. "Just grab the rope, swing out, and let go. Do a cannonball into the water. One trip and your fear will be gone. Trust me."

"Okay, okay. But I can't do it myself."

Robin thought for a moment. "Here's the deal. Put your arms around my neck and hold on tight. I'll swing back and forth a few times to get you used to the feeling. And I'll let you know before we drop okay?"

Well, it was a chance to put my arms around the neck of my one true love. "Okay," I answered. Gathering up my courage, I wrapped my arms around his neck, shoved my face into his sable hair and squeezed my eyes shut.

"Umm, Marian?"

"Yeah?"

"I can't breathe!"

"Sorry," I mummered sheepisly, loosening my grip.

Grabbing the rope, he said, "Okay, here we go!"

We were swinging out, out over the lake. It acutally felt pretty good. I opened my mouth to tell Robin he was right. "Hey, Rob-- oh my God!!!" Next thing I know, we're falling. My stomach, taking on a mind of it's own, flew up into my throat. If I survive this, I thought, he's going to be very sorry! After what seemed like forever, we finally hit the water. Surfacing to the top, I looked around for Robin. He reappeared about seven yards away.

"Now, Marian, wasn't that fun?"

"Fun? Fun? FUN?? You think nearly killing me is fun??"

"That's overexaggarating."

"You said you would warn me!"

"I knew if I warned you, you'd try to figure out a way to get me to stop."

Calming down slightly, I realized he was right. If I had known, I would have chickened out. "Well, it was still a mean trick." And I wasn't about to let him forget it. "Let's start on our way home."

"Okay, Marian. But I still think you are overreacting about this."

"Whatever. You know what Robin-- OWWW!!"

"What's wrong," he asked, concerned.

"My leg," I replied. "I think I have a cramp."

"Hold on, I'll be right there!" He started to swim over. I smiled to myself as I tried to stay afloat using one leg. This should be fun.

"Are you okay," he asked when he reached me.

"I don't think I can make it back to shore."

Robin thought for a minute. "Climb onto my back and put your arms around my neck. I'll get us back to shore."

I did just as he said. Just before he started to swim back, I stopped him. "Robin?"

"Yeah?"

"What's that over there?"

"Where?"

"Over there in the bushes."

Turning to look, he said, "What are you talking about? I don't see anything--" Pushing on his shoulders and head with all my might, I shoved him under and made a beeline for the shore.

I could hear Robin sputtering behind me as I climbed out of the water and hopped on my horse. I knew he would be angry with me for faking an injury. But having a temper, I was just not satisfied with that little dunking. So I slapped his horse and raced home. It should be ineresting when he gets back.

********************************************************************************

Back at the camp, I changed my sopping wet clothes and put my long brown hair up into a braid. I figured it would take Robin quite a while to walk home, so I decided to do some chores. Picking up a basket full of dirty clothes, I walked over to the huge tub where about four other ladies were doing their washes. All the ladies around the tub were talking excitedly about the festivities that were being held tonight.

"I wonder what kind of food Friar Tuck is going to make?"

"I hope to dance with Little John!"

"What about Robin? Don't you think he's handsome?"

"Speaking of Robin," said Ingrid, Little John's sister, turning towards me, "didn't the both of you leave together this morning, Marian?"

"Yes," I answed, a little warily. "Why do you ask?"

"Well, you're here. He's not."

"Oh, he... ummmm... he got a little sidetracked. He'll be back soon."

As I was talking with Ingrid, all the other ladies got quiet and started to drift away. After a few more minutes Ingrid left too. I was all alone doing my wash. Suddenly, a cold arm went around my waist and I was being lifted in the air. I was then ungraciously deposited in the washtub. Sputtering, I looked up into a pretty angry set of chocolate brown eyes.

"Now you know what it feels like," said Robin.

"What was that for," I asked, thoroughly annoyed.

"That was for faking an injury, dunking me, and taking my horse."

"You deserved it! And the horse ran away by itself."

"Afer you slapped it! And you deserved this dunking as much as I deserved mine."

"I hope you know, Robin, this means war."

"So be it," he said, smirking. "I just hope you can handle defeat." Then he walked away.

I stood up, very wet and very annoyed. We'll just see who'll win.

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"Good evening, Marian," came a voice from behind me later that night.

"Little John! You look wonderful!" His long green tunic and brown pants made his blond hair and blue eyes look even brighter than they usually do.

"As do you! Red is certainly your color." We both laughed. The short red dress did make my reddish brown hair stand out and my green eyes shine.

"Thank you, John. But now, I must go mingle."

I walked around the camp, listening to the merry music and watching people dance. The was a big bonfire in the middle of it all, shedding light on the whole area. I leaned up a tree scoping out the area for someone to dance with.

When the song came to an end, a couple stopped in front of me. A giggly little voice said, "Thank you sooooo much for the dance, Robin!" I clenced my fists at my side, trying not to show how jealous I was. Unfortunately, Robin saw me out of the corner of his eye. Flashing one of his bright smiles, he said, "There is nothing that would have pleased me more, my dear Marissa." Then he kissed gently on the lips. After his lips didn't leave hers after about 5 seconds, I couldn't take any more. I started towards them when someone grabbed my arm.

"Would you like to dance?"

"Why, yes I -- Guy!!"

My mouth dropped when I saw who held my arm. Sir Guy of Gisbourne. One of Prince John's most evil subjects, he was presumed dead in the Crusades. Yet here he was, alive and asking me to dance.

"What do you think you are doing here," Robin demanded, storming over.

"Asking the beautiful Lady Marian FitzWalter to dance," he replied calmly, his eyes never leaving me.

"She's taken!"

Looking right at Robin, I said, "By who, may I ask?" Then turning to Guy, I answered, "Yes, I would love to." Score one for me, I thought as I sawRobin's jaw drop. Now we're even for that kiss!

I stayed with Guy for most of the night. He told me about the Crusades and how he's become a changed man. I didn't fall for any of it, though. He's always trying to change himself to win my love. But I just played along because I knew Robin was watching us. Good. Let him watch.

After many, many dances together, Robin decided to cut in. "May I?" Guy politely let him.

"What do you think you are doing," I said, annoyed. "I was enjoying myself."

"I'm getting you away from that creatin."

"Why? He claims he has changed his cruel ways."

He snorted. "Yeah, right Marian. And I'm the king of England."

"Really? I don't think Richard will like this news," I answerd, flippanly.

"I just think you are trying to make me jealous," Robin stated.

"No, I think you are doing a fine job of doing it to yourself."

"You are trying to make me as jealous as you were when you saw me dancing with Marissa."

My cheeks started to burn. "I was not!"

"Yes you were," he said his face getting dangerously close. My heart started to beat faster as he got closer. "You wished I was kissing you instead. Because you are mine, not Guy's."

That little comment was like a cold pail of water being thrown on me. "Oh yeah," I retorted. "Watch this." I stormed up to Guy and kissed him soundly on the lips. "How's that for wishing for your kiss?"

Robin's eyes grew cold and he turned around and stormed away. I didn't see him the rest of the night.

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The next day, Robin flirted with every single girl in camp. I knew he was doing it to get me angry and jealous. And it was working. By mid-afternoon, after I saw a girl sneak into his tent, I blew my lid. I stormed into his tent like a bat out of hell.

"What the hell is going on in here!?!?" I couldn't believe the scene in front of me.

The slut was sitting on top of him, trying to take his shirt off. "Excuse me," the little trollop said, hearing me come in, "but Robin is indisposed at the minute. So if you would leave us......"

"Listen, tramp, I am going to dispose of you if you do not leave this tent RIGHT NOW!!"

Let me tell you, I have never seen anyone move so fast in my entire life.

"Now, Marian, that was rude," Robin said. He seemed slightly amused.

"Rude," I said, pushing him. "No, rude is making out with every girl in my plain sight!" I pushed him again. "Just who do you think you are?"

"Wait just a minute--"

"No! If you think you can do this in front of me, you are sorely mistaken." I went to go push him agian, but he grabbed my arm and twisted it behind my back.

"Now, if you do not calm down--"

"What, Robin? What are you going to do? Hit me?" I stomped on his foot. He yelped and let me go. I turned and pushed him out of the tent. He stumbled to the ground. When he got up, he was just as angry as I was. I didn't care, though. I started picking up stones and throwing them at him.

"Okay, Marian. I've had it!" He stormed at me, his hands protecting his head. He grabbed me, pinning my arms to my sides. "Now we are going to talk this out like mature adults," Robin stated. "Or do I have to give you a dunking again?"

"Oooohhhhh! You are incorrageable," I yelled. I started to kick my feet, trying to get loose. I got him in the knee and he dropped me. Unfortunately, I landed on my head. Everything went fuzzy. Before I blacked out, I felt someone cradle me and say, "I'm so sorry, Marian. I never meant to hurt you. I just wanted to get you jealous. I'd never hurt the one I love."

********************************************************************************

"Marian! Marian, wake up!"

I felt a nudging in my side. "Hey, Marian!" I jerked my head up. "Huh?"

"So nice of you to join us, Miss Walters." Who is that, I thought, confused. Wait... I looked around. I was in a classroom. What happened to Sherwood? Then it hit me. I was in the first day of Medieval Literature in my senior year of college. The new professor was late and I had put my head down for a minute. I guess I had fallen asleep. Not a good first impression.

"Now that you have missed the first day of class, what do you have to say for yourself," the professor said.

My face burned with embarrasment. I couldn't even raise my head to look at him. "Uuummm...."

"That's what I thought. Now," he said, addressing the class, "tomorrow's session will be canceled. Except, of course, for the attentive Miss Walters. She will report to class bright and early to listen to the lecture she missed today. And write a five page paper on it."

"WHAT?!??" Now, I was getting angry. "Excuse me--," I started to say, my head flying up. But when I looked at the professor, I stopped in my tracks. I was staring into a pair laughing, chocolate brown eyes. Looking up a little more, I saw a head full of long sable hair. Something was very odd here. I shook my head to clear it.

"Am I understood, Miss Walters," he asked, his eyes laughing into mine. Then he winked.

All of a sudden it hit me. A wide grin spread across my face. "Yes, Professor Locksly. I'll be here."

I think I'll be able to spit out a lot more than five pages after tomorrow.

The End

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