Skip to main content

To Grandma's House

Previous Chapter  

Robin, chapter 3

Robin had sold her entire load of vegetables before lunch. After winning an impromptu cudgel bout (and a number of bets upon it), she was returning by her usual route [carrying her sword, staff, bow, and quiver of arrows, and a small purse with the day's earnings] when she spotted Sheriff Wulf ambling through the woods.

ROBIN-- [after tucking away her purse] Ho, Sheriff! Whither goest thou so merrily a this fine day?

SHERIFF-- [uncomprehending] What?

ROBIN-- Where are you headed?

SHERIFF-- [stiffening] And what business is that of yours, little girl?

ROBIN-- Oh, the forest wends and winds. We wouldn't want you to get lost.

SHERIFF-- [checking his compass] And who are you to care if I lose my way?

ROBIN-- Just as you say, only a little girl.

SHERIFF-- [pointing] And why would someone like you carry weapons like those?

ROBIN-- Do you always start sentences with conjunctions?

SHERIFF-- And--no. What are you doing with that staff?

Harold was famous for collecting (and inventing) taxes on the spot, so instead of telling him of her business, Robin came up with a better answer.

ROBIN-- Bears don't like being thwacked on the nose by staves.

SHERIFF-- [looking around a bit] There are bears here?

ROBIN-- Yes, and they run when I hit them.

SHERIFF-- [rubbing his beard] So you have a staff. Why a sword, too?

ROBIN-- Thieves, who only carry little knives and daggers, are naturally scared of a long sword.

SHERIFF-- [unhappy at the thought] Thieves, as well? But why do you have that bow, and those arrows?

ROBIN-- Target practice, of course.

SHERIFF-- For...?

ROBIN-- The sport of it!

SHERIFF-- The sport of poaching, more like! [reaches for Robin, but she ducks away]

ROBIN-- [dodging and evading while mocking clumsiness as the sheriff continues to attempt her capture] Careful, Sheriff. These paths are littered with rocks and roots to trip upon. Though I stumble, I can always regain my feat. Someone of your stature [poking his belly as she pretends to fall about] might not find it so easy, and, falling, might have trouble getting up. [with some help from Robin's staff, this is exactly what happens]

SHERIFF-- [slowly coming to a sitting position and catching his breath with Robin standing over him smiling sweetly] Well. I suppose I could overlook your misdeeds this once [pausing both to breathe and to produce his notice of eviction] if you can help me find this place.

ROBIN-- [recognizing her address] I know how to get there as easily as to my own home. There's a fork up ahead. Just stay to the left, and never go right. You'll get where you're going.

SHERIFF-- [standing up] Thanks. [dusting himself off] Now skeedadle, and don't let me see you carrying a bow in Sherman's Forest again.

So Harold Wulf blithely took the leftmost path, and Robin ran happily to the right. Though both lead to Robin's house, the right was a short and pleasant route, while the left passed over cliffs and streams, through a thieves' camp, and very near a mother bear's den. It was late evening before a tattered, penniless Sheriff Harold Wulf appeared at Robin's doorstep, cursing his luck and helpful, redheaded girls the world over.
Next Chapter


Popular posts from this blog

Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Happy Valentine's Day

Mindful concentration and earnest effort make health, safety, and creativity more likely, but there are no guarantees. Every plateau has a cliff. Each incline can become a decline. These paths require attention. When we traverse uncertain ground in the darkness, if the wind sweeps past, we may keep our feet or we may lose our footing and tumble down.
When I requested February 14th off from work, I didn't expect to spend the day alone, you know. Now, it's just another day on which I should be doing chores. There is so much to do around my small apartment. It's almost amazing. But of course I realize, keeping our spaces clean requires persistent effort, as well.
Still, there are cliffs all around. Some of them seem treacherous, others quite comfortable.