By Lisa Arnold
Elisha had wandered endlessly through the forest
for days. She had been on the run once the soldiers had come into her village
at dawn and attacked. They set fire to all the huts, as the scared villagers
ran out of their burning huts the soldiers were there to kill them. It was
a horrible scene to see.
Elisha’s mother had seen what was happening
and told her to dress in boys clothes and flee into the forest. Elisha
had cried to her mother "I can't leave you."
With tears in their eyes Elisha's mother had
told her that all was lost and she wanted her only daughter to be able to
escape being raped and killed.
Not wanting to appear weak to her mother she
did as she was asked. Being petite, Elisha fit perfeclty into her little
brother, Josiah's clothes. Josiah had died a few months earlier from a fever.
With tears coursing down her cheeks, Elisha
hugged her mother, told her that she loved her, and said their last goodbyes.
As her mother ran out of the hut to keep the soldiers distracted, Elisha
had made her escape.
Four days later, Elisha was lost, tired and Very scared.
Every noise she heard, she was sure was the soldiers chasing her. She missed
her mother terribly and broke down in tears when she relived the massacre
in her mind. Knowing that her mother would want her to be strong was the
only thing that kept her going.
As Elisha continued moving though the forest she kept thinking
to herself " I must find a village soon or I will surely die."
Lost in her own thoughts, Elisha tripped over
a fallen log. Or was it? She heard a moan from the direction of the log.
She was frightened but decided to check out what had made the noise.
What Elisha found was a man covered with leaves,
and he was hurt. She brushed the off the leaves covering him to check on
his injuries. The man was dressed as a pauper and as she finished uncovering
him, Elisha found that he had an arrow stuck in his right shoulder and a
very large, dark bruise on his right temple.
This man may be a bandit and harm her when he
woke up and Elisha was frightened. But hearing another moan from the injured
man and already having seen so much horror she decided to help him.
Taking some fallen branches Elisha built a lean
to, to protect her and the injured man from the weather as well as hide
them from the soldiers that she was sure was looking for her.
Elisha knew that she had to remove the arrow
from the man’s shoulder to clean the wound. Fearing she would injure him
further she hesitated, but realized that the man may die if she didn't remove
the arrow, Elisha gently tested the wound to see how far the arrow was
imbedded in his shoulder.
It appeared that if she was careful it wouldn’t
do anymore damage if the arrow was removed, so Elisha took a deep breath
and pulled it out.
The man let out a small groan and a trickle
of blood ran out of the wound, but he didn’t wake.
This worried Elisha. She covered the wound with a piece of cloth from
her tunic to stop the bleeding.
Going in to a creek that she had seen a short
distance away to get water to clean the mans wounds, Elisha had looked over
her shoulder the whole time, in fear of soldiers.
After cleaning and binding the wound the best
that she could, Elisha realized how tired she was. Using leaves to cover
the lower half of the mans body and carefully raising the upper half of
his body so she could prop the man up against her to try to keep him as
warm as possible through the chilly night. Getting as comfortable as she
was going to get, Elisha drifted off to sleep.
Robin woke in a great deal of pain. His shoulder
and head ached unmercifully. "Just go back to sleep" Robin told himself,
then he realized he was leaning against something warm. All that had happened
to him,( being chased by soldiers, being shot in the shoulder, riding as
far as he could, falling from his stolen horse, then blackness ) came flooding
"Maybe Marian found me." was Robins first thought.
Unable to open his eyes because of the horrible pain in his head, Robin
moved a little and whispered "Marian".
Elisha came quickly awake when she heard the
man whisper the name Marian. Remembering her mothers warning about pretending
to be a boy, Elisha quietly said " No sire the names Eli. I found you injured
and tried to help."
Robin whispered "Thank you Eli." and drifted
back to unconsciousness.
Elisha realizing that she was trapped where
she was for the time being under the man, decided to try to catch up on
some lost sleep.
Waking up a few hours later, Elisha felt a little
better. Sleep always helps. She took time to look at the injured man leaning
against her. He looked like he was resting well. His arrow wound hadn’t
started bleeding again which was good. The awful bruise on his head worried
her. Looking at his face, she realized how handsome he was. His shoulder
length hair was well kept, all it needed was a good brushing. He had a well
trimmed goatee and mustache that accented his rugged good looks. His appearance
didn’t match the pauper clothes that he wore. "I may have to ask him about
that when he gets well," Elisha thought out loud.
Deciding that she had stared at the sleeping
man enough, Elisha knew that the man would be hungry and thirsty when he
Moving him as little as possible, Elisha wiggled
herself out from under the man. Moaning and shallow breathing were the only
signs that she had hurt him. Leaning over the man, Elisha quietly told
the man "I'm going to get water, I'll be back soon"
Wincing in pain the man acknowledged by saying,
as loudly as his pounding head would allow "I don't think I'll be going
anywhere. Thank you again Eli." and tried a grin. Elisha smiled at his attempt
to show her that he was feeling better than he obviously was. Assuring him
again that she would be back soon, Elisha went to get water, and hopefully
find something to eat.
Robin lay as still as he could, pain wracked
his head and chest with each heartbeat. Needing to figure out his surroundings
he decided to open his eyes slowly. When he opened his eyes he couldn't
see anything, "maybe it's night." he thought to himself. After blinking
a few times to clear his eyes he still couldn't see anything. A cold fear
crept into Robins heart when he realized that it wasn't night, HE WAS BLIND!
Trying to calm his fears, Robin had no choice
but to wait until Eli, the boy that helped him, to return. " I hope it's
soon." Robin whispered.
After getting water, and finding some wild berries
to eat, Elisha made her way back to camp.
When she returned to camp, Elisha panicked when
she realized the man was awake.
Robin heard footsteps approaching and got worried.
As the footsteps got closer, he called out "Eli is that you?", and was flooded
with relief when he heard in reply, " Yes sire it's me."
Elisha was confused when she saw the man looking
straight at her and called out "Eli". As she got closer it dawned on her
that the man couldn't see her. She saw panic in his brown eyes and realized
that the man must be blind from the injury to his head.
"The bruise on your head must have something
to do with your blindness." Elisha told the man, to try to ease the fear
that he must be feeling. The man only sighed and nodded.
"I brought some water for you to drink and a
few berries to eat if you are feeling up to it" Elisha said kneeling down
in front of the man.
Robin took the water and berries and said "That
sounds wonderful" and winked at Eli with an unseeing eye.
After the man had had his fill, Elisha cleaned
his wound again. Curiosity was getting the best of her and she asked "May
I ask your name, since you already know mine?"
Robin only hesitated a second before putting
his left hand out in front of him( because his right shoulder hurt too much
to move). Elisha took the mans hand and in the strongest "manly" way she
could as he said "My names Robin, nice to meet you."
Elisha chuckled and said "Pleased to meet you
Robin. That wouldn't be as in Robin Hood by chance, would it?"
"As a matter of fact, yes, I am Robin Hood."
Robin did his best to give a dazzling smile, but what came out was kind
of a grimace due to the fact that his head still hurt terribly.
Elisha smiled back even though Robin couldn't
see it. She believed him, that must be the reason that she heard him call
out the name Marion, when he first regained consciousness. She had heard
fantastic tales about Robin Hood and Marion.
Noticing the pain etched on Robins, handsome,
even though bruised face, Elisha told him "lie back and rest easy, we'll
talk more when you wake up." Which is exactly what he did. He was too
tired, and sore to think straight. And maybe when he woke up he could see
As Elisha watched Robins eyes close and he drifted
off to sleep. Thinking to herself that she never would have believed that
she would meet Robin Hood. She had heard many stories of his tragic youth
and his acts of heroism.
Robin woke up in the morning with a hand covering
his mouth, "soldiers are close." Eli whispered in his ear. When Robin nodded
that he understood what Eli was telling him, he realized that his head wasn't
hurting near as much as it had been. "Maybe my eyesight is back." was his
first thought. Upon opening his eyes Robin was disheartened by the fact
that he still couldn't see.
Elisha heard Robin give a sigh of exasperation
and she realized he had been checking his eyesight. By the sound he made
it was obvious that it hadn't. Hoping to make Robin feel better, Elisha
quietly said, "I'm sure you will be able to see again soon."
Robins only reply was "I hope so because we
can't stay here much longer." Robin knew that he needed to get back home
soon. Tuck may have something to help Robin gain his eyesight back, and
he was starting to feel feverish from the shoulder wound. Everyone would
be worried when he didn't show up when he had said he would too.
After the soldiers had moved on Robin decided
that they must get moving. An idea popped into his head then. "Eli can you
be my eyes until I can see again, so that we can get moving? I hate to feel
like a sitting duck."
Elisha broke into a wide smile, even though
Robin couldn’t see it, he could hear the excitement in Eli's voice when
he said "Of course, I will do anything I can to help."
Most of the next hour was spent trying to help
Robin figure out exactly where they were. Elisha did her best to give Robin
a description of the area, what time of the day it was, and where the sun
was located in the sky.
Elisha was frustrated because she didn’t think
she was being much help.
Robin heard the uncertainty in Eli's voice and
tried to reassure him by telling him " From what you have told me I think
I can figure out how to get home from here, you have been a big help."
Elisha was shocked by this and simply said "Really?"
"Yes, thank you Eli." Robin smiled when he replied.
This made Elisha feel much better.
Robin hadn't done much moving since regaining
consciousness and now he realized that he needed to relieve himself, BAD!
Not wanting to ask for help, but seeing no other alternative robin cleared
his throat and asked "Eli, could you please help me so I can take care of
some 'necessities'?" realizing what Robin meant, Elisha blushed. When she
didn’t answer, Robin asked "Is there anything wrong Eli?"
Elisha hurried to think of something to say.
"No, I was just looking for the most even ground to guide you across so
you don't trip." was all she could think of.
Robin accepted her reply and she carefully helped
him up and slowly they made their way to a close by tree.
Trying to think of something to get herself
out of the mess that she was in. How was she going to help Robin take care
of 'necessities'. Elisha said "We are at a tree, do you need anymore
help? I have some 'necessities' to take care of myself."
Robin chuckled while saying "No, I think I can
take if from here, I'll just lean against the tree."
Breathing a sigh of relief, Elisha turned her
back and walked a short distance away leaving Robin in private.
Returning to the tree to help Robin back to
camp, Elisha noticed him leaning on the tree for support, he was very pale
and was covered in a cold sweat.
Upon hearing Eli's approach Robin calmly said
"I think I've overdone it." As he started collapsing, Elisha caught him,
trying to be careful of his shoulder.
"Please don't pass out until I get you back
to camp, you are too heavy to carry." Elisha pleaded with Robin.
Robin snorted and said "I'll try, but we better
They slowly made their way back, with Elisha
all but carrying Robin. As she started helping him to the ground, he slipped
Elisha stayed up all night to watch over Robin,
and look out for danger. "Please Lord, let him be well enough to leave when
he wakes up again, so we can leave this place." was her constant prayer
all through the long night.
Robin slept fitfully, strange dreams filling
his mind. When he woke up, he knew that they must find help quickly. Still
sightless, he knew he was running a fever from his wounds.
"Eli, are you awake?" Robin moaned.
Alarmed at the weakness in Robins voice, Elisha
answered "Yes, I've been awake all night. Are you ok?"
"Not really, but we need to try to move, I'm
not sure how long I will be able to travel." Robin painfully whispered.
"As soon as I check your shoulder, we will get
moving." was Elisha’s worried reply.
Cleaning and binding Robins shoulder the best she
could, Elisha realized just how sick Robin was. He was burning up with
fever and his wound was red and swollen.
"I've done the best I can, I wish I could do
more." Elisha said when she had finished.
Knowing Eli had done his best he could under
the circumstances, Robin reached out and felt for Elis arm, upon finding
it said "I know that you are doing your best, and I am forever grateful."
Elisha felt a little better when she heard Robins
"Are you ready?" Elisha tried to sound cheerful.
"As ready as I will ever be." Robin gave a wink
and a grin.
After Eli had given Robin the best description
of the landscape and position of the sun, Robin was almost positive of
the direction they must travel to get home.
Elisha helped Robin up and he leaned heavily
on her, she prayed that she would be able to "carry" him as far as she they
needed to go.
Robin apologized for almost having to be carried
and tried to reassure the small built boy by saying "I'm sure we till make
it in no time. Maybe we will be found by my friends along the way."
Traveling proved to be harder than either of
them had anticipated. Robin had to stop constantly to rest because he was
Breathing heavily, and wracked with chills Robin
sat trying to gain his equilibrium so they could continue on in the right
direction. Becoming delirious could prove deadly for both of them.
After gathering as much strength as he could,
and taking care of 'necessities' (luckily for Elisha, Robin could still
manage that on his own). Robin and Elisha made their way slowly onward.
Robin, trying to stay alert, asked Eli how he
had come to be lost in the woods. Elisha poured her heart out to Robin all
that had happened with the soldiers attack, the killings, and fleeing in
fear. For some reason she left out the part about her disguise, not quite
sure why but she did. "Maybe, if Robin finds out I'm a girl, he won't think
I'm as capable of helping him as I am." was in her thoughts.
His heart aching from the tragedy that Eli had
been through, Robin assured Eli "You will always have a place to stay in
Sherwood as long as you want to stay."
Elisha's heart was lightened by his heartfelt
invitation to join his "family"
As the day wore on, the frequent stops got longer,
Robin actually fell asleep. Deciding to let him sleep for a while, Elisha
surveyed the area.
A group of riders appeared, there was no time
to hide her or Robin so she was going to have to make a stand. Grabbing
the only thing she could find, a large tree branch, she prepared to defend
There were three riders, a very tall blond man,
a heavy man in a robe, and a woman. As they topped the hill they saw a boy
standing by a tree. Maybe he had seen Robin.
Marian saw the boy raise the branch in defiance
to their approach, it was then that she noticed Robin lying on the ground
beside a tree.
"We're Robins friends!" Marian cried out. "Please
let us help him."
When the woman mentioned Robins name, Elisha
realized that this must be the friends that Robin had said would be looking
for him. Dropping the branch Elisha sank to the ground exhausted.
Upon checking on Robin, the group asked Elisha
what had happened. Telling them his name was Eli, Elisha explained to them
what had happened to Robin, and explained the blindness.
Marian introduced herself, Little John and Friar
Tuck, and with tears in her eyes thanked the brave boy for his help.
Robin roused a little when little John carefully
picked him up and put him on the horse. Little John then carefully climbed
up behind Robin.
"It's about time you found me," was Robin’s
weak comment. Little John worriedly chuckled
Elisha was put on the horse behind friar Tuck,
and they made their way to Sherwood.
Upon arrival to the camp Robin was rushed into
his hut. Elisha tried to jump off of the horse that she was on to follow
Robin. Her leg caught and she hit the ground with a thump. The hat that
had been on her head as her disguise fell off revealing her long blond hair.
She would have some explaining to do, was her first thought.
A woman squealed her name, and as Elisha turned
she saw her mother running toward her. Mother and daughter cried as they
embraced. Elisha’s mother had been brought to the camp by one of Robins friends
after finding her at the village, she was the only survivor.
Marian and Tuck were hurrying out of Robins
hut to get the supplies they would need to help Robin. They both stopped
in amazement when they realized that the brave boy that had helped Robin
was actually a girl.
Elisha looked over her shoulder to see Marian
and Tuck staring at her. Smiling shyly she quickly explained that she was
Elisha and she was afraid to tell Robin she was a girl because he may lose
confidence in her helping him.
Marian winked at her and told her "I've saved
Robin on many occasions, he would have been used to it."
Marian and Tuck hurried to get the supplies
they needed. Elisha ran after them and begged them to let her help care
for Robin. Tuck assured her that as soon as they had cleaned Robins wounds
and made him comfortable that she would be allowed to see him.
Robin was gravely ill for two days. Tuck
worried that he hadn't regained consciousness. Marian and Elisha never
left Robins side, cleaning his wounds and giving him the herbs he needed
to make him well.
On the third day Robins fever broke and he slept
soundly. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
Elisha and Marian did a lot of talking while
they were tending to Robin and Marian thought of the brave girl as a sister.
Robin woke slowly trying to remember what had
happened. Everything that happened flooded back, the arrow wound, the blindness,
and brave Eli. Slowly opening his eyes he let out a sigh of relief that
he could see again. Looking over he saw Marian asleep on a chair by his
cot. He also saw a girl asleep on the floor, her head resting on the cot
and holding his hand.
Marian heard Robin moving and woke up. They
smiled at each other and when Robin motioned to the girl sleeping at his
side, Marian chuckled and said "This is Eli." Marian quietly explained
to Robin the whole story about how Eli was Elisha, and filled him in on
all the missing pieces of a very interesting adventure. Even how Elisha
had met up with her mother at camp.
Robin gently stroked Elisha’s hair. When Elisha
woke up and saw Robin smiling at her, she started to panic. Robin winked
at her and said "Hi Eli, thank you again."
Elisha smiled radiantly back at him and gave
him a careful hug. "I'm sorry I lied to you about being a boy but I was
just so scared." Elisha blurted out.
Robin laughed and said "From the story Marian
told me and the willingness that you showed to defend me against three people
with a branch, you are just about braver than any man I have met."
Elisha blushed to her toes and muttered "Thanks."
Elisha and her mother continued to live at Robins
camp. Marian taught Elisha how to defend herself with weapons so that she
wouldn't have to grab a branch out of desperation again.
Robin smiled every time he saw Elisha, and when
she looked in his direction he always winked at her, and she smiled right
back at him because each of them knew that they had lived through an incredible