Thursday’s Special: An Outlaw’s Hiding Place

This week’s ‘Thursday’s Special’ is a challenge dedicated to the past. Paula says, “It can be a past that is abandoned and about to be forgotten, or past that is still functional and intertwined with present.

On our recent visit to England, I revisited a place not far from my home town, which brought back fond memories of my childhood. Sherwood Forest was a favourite place for weekend outings with my parents and sister, and in those days there was no entrance fee or protection of this now world famous tree, ‘Robin Hood’s Major Oak’.

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As a child, I really believed the legends surrounding this amazing tree which is thought to be almost 1,000 years old. As my sister and I climbed around inside the hollow trunk which has a girth of  33 ft (10 m), I used to imagine Robin Hood and his Merry Men, together with the fair Maid Marion, hiding themselves there from the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham and his cruel henchmen. I remember that there were shelves inside the trunk, where the intrepid outlaws were supposed to have stored their food provisions.

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Nowadays, it’s fenced off from the public and supported with an impressive network of scaffolding, which I suppose is  very necessary for its preservation, but somewhat disappointing to the child still in me, who was longing to run across and touch this wonderful old tree and to feel the thrill of being inside that old tree trunk once more.

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