Pyle's distillation of many Robin Hood legends and ballads, modified to make them suitable for children.
r him, leaning upon his staff, and whistling as he gazed round about. Robin observed him furtively as he trimmed his staff, measuring him from top to toe from out the corner of his eye, and thought that he had never seen a lustier or a stouter man. Tall was Robin, but taller was the stranger by a head and a neck, for he was seven feet in height. Broad was Robin across the shoulders, but broader was the stranger by twice the breadth of a palm, while he measured at least an ell around the waist.
"Nevertheless," said Robin to himself, "I will baste thy hide right merrily, my good fellow"; then, aloud, "Lo, here is my good staff, lusty and tough. Now wait my coming, an thou darest, and meet me an thou fearest not. Then we will fight until one or the other of us tumble into the stream by dint of blows."
"Marry, that meeteth my whole heart!" cried the stranger, twirling his staff above his head, betwixt his fingers and thumb, until it whistled again.
Never did the Knights of Arthur's Round Tabl
The movies have not done this book justice. Now having read the book, I am amazed the movies (both live action and animated) have done so poorly in illustrating the characters and all the adventures they could have used instead of inventing their own.
The relationship between Robin and Little John in a way remind of that between Frodo and Sam in LOTR. And the innocent joy and merriment reminds me in a way of the book Peter Pan.
The story is marvelous, adventurous, and truly is merry. It made me laugh and want to keep reading about the funny and virtuous natures of the "naughty knaves" of Sherwood. The way they trip up the greedy and evil and cunningly get them to hand over their ill gotten gains as well as the generous nature of helping those that truly are in need is a wonderful example of seeing beyond appearances and showing compassion and generosity.
The book has two endings, one merry, and one that is more of a epilogue that follows Robin to his end. If you don't want to end the story that way, stop at the first ending and enjoy the wonderful story.
Great fun. I recommend this for those with adventursome spirits. There has never been a movie Robin Hood true to this telling.