By Virginia Cavazos
Robin Hood wearily rode into camp, his head hung back, as he patted his mouth, covering up a large yawn. He had been ridding hard most of the night, hoping to reach Sherwood before daylight. Following up on rumors, that someone was robbing the local villages. He found that someone was claiming to be a member of Robin’s band. The Villagers gladly gave him what they had, to help Robin’s noble cause against Prince John. Little knowing, that this man was not working for Robin, but for himself.
The day was just dawning, the sun was slowly rising up on the horizon. Robin scratched at the stubble that grew on his face. He couldn’t wait to have a bath in the stream, and a shave. He urged his horse towards the stables, he slid down his saddle, another yawn escaping from his mouth.
"Good morning Robin!" A handsome, dark haired man said, as he prepared to take Robin’s horse.
"Good Morning to you Jeremiah," Robin warmly greeted the young man. "Don’t worry about her, I’ll put her away myself."
"Robin," Jeremiah threw him a scolding look. "You know that’s my job." Jeremiah was an old friend of Robins. His father ran the stables for Robin’s father.
"At least allow me to take the saddle off," Robin protested, "I want to make sure she’s all right, she was limping a little on the way here."
"Okay Robin," Jeremiah called out, as he headed into the stables. "I’ll check her later." As Robin prepared to take his horses saddle off, he saw a white flash jump on the saddle. He let out a soft chuckle, as he was being given a tongue bath on his face.
"Mo!" He laughed, as he picked up the small dog from his saddle. "I’m happy to see you too." As Mo greeted Robin, Jeremiah sneaked in, leading Robin’s horse into the stables. Robin hugged the small white dog to his chest, she turned her head up, continuing her greeting on his neck.
Since Robin had brought the small dog to his camp, she was a constant companion. He always enjoyed her enthusiastic greetings, no matter how hard a day he had; she was always there with a happy wag of her tail.
As Mo attempted to lick Robin’s face off, he heard someone clearing his throat. Spinning around, Robin was surprised to see four very angry looking faces.
Marion’s hair was so tangled, she looked like a witch. Little John seemed to have a number of large holes in his pants. Will Scarlet was tugging at his pants, as they seemed to be drifting south, and Friar Tuck was glaring at Mo, a wooden spoon in hand. The four of them were standing shoulder to shoulder, their arms crossed across their chests. All eyes were angrily focused on Mo.
Switching the small dog to his other arm, Robin asked, "What’s wrong?"
All four pointed at Mo, as they shouted out in unison, "You have to do something about that dog!"
Robin quickly walked to his tent, holding a squiggling Mo in his arms, listening to his friends explanation of exactly why Mo had suddenly become the center of attention to his small camp.
"She has taken every comb and brush I have in my tent!" Marion shouted, Robin had to hide a smile, as he glanced over to Marion. She looked as if a family of rats had taken residence in her hair.
"She’s stolen every sprig of herb I’ve collected!" Tuck wailed, "Not to mention, burying the game hens, we were going to have for supper tonight…god only knows where!"
"She’s taken a bite out of all of my pants!" Little John pointed to his current pants. Robin saw a few dog sized, holes in the legs of his pants. "This is the best pair I have!"
"She keeps takin’ me belts. I can’t ‘old up me bloody pants!" Will shouted, his arms flew up in the air. His pants went in the other direction, Will heard a giggle to the side, as he pulled his pants up. Winking to the enamored woman he chuckled, "Not that it’s a bad thin’."
Robin walked faster, he was losing control to keep from laughing. "I’m sorry," Robin said, as he reached his tent. "But I can’t believe that such a small dog has caused so much…" Robin pulled open the animal skin doorway, his voice dropped to a whisper, as he squeaked, "…trouble?"
Robin was shocked to see his tent filled with the aforementioned stolen items. His bed was covered in them.
"See Robin!" Marion said, as she stormed to Robin’s bed, she searched in the many articles on the bed, finding a comb. She held it up in triumph. "My Comb!" Marion hissed, as she tried to comb her tangles out, "You have to do something about that dog!" She declared, as the comb locked in her tangled hair.
Giving an angry glare at Mo, the small dog’s lips curled back. She bared her teeth, and began to growl. Marion growled back at Mo. She flew out of Robin’s tent, as she worked on getting out the knots in her hair.
"I can’t believe that a small dog can be such trouble," Robin repeated, as he walked to his bed. Will, Little John, and Tuck were rummaging on his bed. After finding his herbs, Tuck rushed out of the tent, calling back. "Keep that mutt away from my cooking area!"
Robin sat Mo down on his bed, Will Scarlet was pulling a leather belt through his pants. "I tell you Robin, that Little Dog is a natural thief. You’d think she was my dog." He chuckled, as he gazed at the stolen booty on Robin’s bed.
Seeing the distraught look on her masters face, Mo jumped on the ground, rising on her hind legs; she began to dance for him.
"Mo, you know I love when you do that," Little John sighed. Robin warmly smiled, the small dog had saved his life. He would never forget that.
"I tell you Robin," Will laughed, "That dog ‘as you and Little John wrapped around ‘er paw."
Robin corrected his smile to a scolding one, he wagged his finger at the small dog. "Bad Mo!"
The small dog dropped down, she lay her head on the ground. Placing her paws over her head, she let out a small whimper. Robin whirled around, not wanting her to see his hard glare softening. He stared forlornly at his bed, shaking his head, he mumbled, "What am I going to do with you Mo?"
Hearing her master’s voice, she leapt back on the bed. Sitting in front of him, her tail wagged the stolen articles that lay on his bed back and forth. Petting her on her head, he let out a deep sigh.
"Once we get this back to the owners, I think Mo is going to need a little discipline." Robin said.
"If you ask me, I think she needs a good tannin’" Will Jumped back, as both Little John and Robin screamed, "NO!"
Will brought his hands up in defense, "I was jokin’! I’ve seen the scars on ‘er back."
When Robin and Little John brought Mo to the camp, they had made a promise to protect her from any abuse. She had endured severe harsh treatment by her previous owner.
Robin now began to wonder if this might have created a spoiled monster. As she let out a playful bark, Robin turned his attention back to his bed. He began to pick up the things piled up on it. Mo watched him for a few moments, happy that her master was looking at the things she brought for him. She decided to help him find what he was looking for. She tore into the mess, her paws digging into the pile. As she threw a pair of pants away, Robin spied something sparkle, as the pants flew in the air. Catching them, he found something tangled in them. It was something that he never thought he would have seen in his camp.
"Will, Little John," Robin called out. Both men were starting to leave the tent. "Come here!"
From the tone of Robin’s voice, they knew that something was wrong. They rushed back to his side.
"What’s that Robin?" Little John asked, as he saw Robin holding a small bracelet. A tiny gold ‘G’ hung in the center.
"When I visited the villages that was robbed yesterday, one of the women told me she gave the imposter two golden bracelets. They were hers and her husbands. Her husbands name was John, her name was Ginnie."
"Then that means, that the thief is ‘ere in camp!" Will Scarlet voiced, what they were all thinking.
Will took the bracelet from Robin. "We ‘ave the bracelet, but we don’t know who it belongs to."
"Mo does," Little John offered.
"That’s right!" Robin picked up the dog, her small legs kicked in the air. She let out a yipe of pleasure as Robin held her in his hands.
"Can you show us where you got the bracelet, Mo?" Robin asked the white dog. Will hung the bracelet in her face. She gazed at it for a second, then tried to consume it.
"I tell you, she’s only good for one thin’…bait for supper!"
"No Will," Little John moaned, as he snatched Mo from Robin’s hands. "You just have to know how to ask her."
Little John placed her on the ground, he plopped on Robin’s bed. Robin nearly jumped, as he saw his bed lower a few inches from the giant’s weight. Will threw the bracelet to Little John. He dangled it in front of her.
"Find the owner Mo," Little John sung out.
"Oh yeah, like she knows wot owner means," Will laughed. "The only words she knows, is Supper, Lunch, and dinner."
Mo stared up at Little John, her head tilting from side to side. "Come on Mo, tell me were you got the bracelet." Mo grabbed the bracelet from Little John’s hands.
"That’s a girl, now show Uncle Little John where you got the bracelet." Will let out a snicker, he choked it back, as Little John’s eyes nearly burned a hole in his head. "Sorry," Will whispered, "Unca Little John," He giggled.
"Will, you aren’t helping matters!" Little John shot up from Robin’s bed, Robin saw a permanent dent left in his bed.
"Well, I don’t think your Niece will be tellin’ you anthin’!" Will poked Little John in the chest with his finger.
"She’s got more brains in her tail, than you have in that empty space above your shoulders!" Little John countered.
"Gentlemen," Robin stepped between Will and Little John. "The object of this conversation has just stepped outside."
Will and Little John saw the animal skin door swinging in the breeze.
"After ‘er!" Will shouted.
The three outlaws ran out of Robin’s tent. They stood at its entrance, searching for Mo.
"How did she get away so fast?" Little John wondered out loud. She was no where in sight.
"Over there!" Will shouted, as he ran towards the stables, he saw a flash of white near the horses. They ran towards the stables, Little John grabbed Will by the arm, his legs flung in the air, as he was pulled to a stop.
"She’s over there!" Robin pointed towards the cooking area. Will spun around, they now ran to where Tuck was cooking breakfast. Skidding to a stop, they saw her tail wagging out of a cooking pot.
"Let’s wait to see where she goes from here," Robin whispered. His companions silently nodded their heads. Tuck was stirring a large kettle, he stared in confusion, at the three outlaws.
His eyes followed theirs, to land on a small white demon in his cooking pot. Slowly picking up a wooden spoon, he lunged towards the wagging tail.
"No Tuck!" Robin shouted, as he grabbed him, but it was to late. The white flash flew off in another direction.
"The ‘unt is on!" Will laughed, as he ran after Mo.
Little John and Robin was close behind, they were to follow her all around camp that day. It proved to be, the most exhausting day they had every had. Feeling the excitement in her master, Mo decided to show him all of her favorite places. They found themselves stuck in mud, as she took them to a small mire, close to camp. It was her favorite place to roll in. When she was dirty enough, she ran back to camp.
"I ‘aven’t smelled this bad, since I were a kid," Will grumbled.
"I hope this is worth the trouble," Little John added.
"I know, she’ll show us where she found that bracelet," Robin said, adding under his breath. "At least I hope she can."
Mo glanced back to see her master chasing her. Now that she had him smelling good, she showed him the best places in camp to bury things. They were able to see just how he managed to steal things, without the owners finding out. She dug holes in the back of the tents. She only had to dig a small hole. When she left the tent, she filled the hole back up.
By mid afternoon Mo decided to relieve herself behind Robin’s tent. It gave the three outlaws a chance to catch their breaths. Will leaned against Little John, fanning himself with his fingers. "I tell you, I’ve never seen a dog with so much energy."
"I never knew the camp was so big," Robin gasped. He was leaning on the other side of Little John. Little John was leaning on the two of them.
Marion quietly stepped up to the exhausted outlaws. She had finally managed to comb out the knots in her hair. She gazed at the men, who were staring at Mo, who was…making a delivery of last night’s supper.
"Boy, things must really be getting boring here in camp," Marion whispered.
"Marion!" Robin whirled around, his dark eyes grew wide as he was startled by her presence. "Um, it’s not what you think."
"You see Marion, we found something that proves that the man that has been posing as an outlaw, is one," Little John explained.
"Oh, well that makes sense," Marion sarcastically laughed out. Spying Mo looking at her, she shouted. "Get!"
"Nooo!" The exhausted outlaws cried out together, as Mo flew away. "Marion!" Robin whinned, "We were just getting our breath back," He panted, as he ran backwards. Seeing her brows knit in confusion, he called out, "I’ll explain later." He turned around, running quicker to catch up with his companions.
Mo took them on a merry chase around camp, she thought they were playing a game with her. She ran ahead, stopping at a spot, waiting for her master to catch up. When he seemed lost, she would let out a small yipe.
She didn’t tire of the game until it was nightfall. Robin was totally
exhausted, he sat on the ground in front of his hut. Mo lay between his legs,
her head snuggled on his thigh. Her eyes closed tightly shut, she was sleeping
peacefully from a long day of fun.
End of Chapter One
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