Whilst walking through Sherwood Forest one day, I had the strangest feeling of deja vu.
The gentle breeze was ruffling the leaves in the trees, twigs crunching and cracking underfoot and the birds singing tunefully from their perches.
I felt dizzy and almost swooned. I had the weird sensation that I was in another time – the same place, just a different century, the 12th to be exact.
I can’t explain what made me think that, but I was convinced. The fencing faded away. A deer ran into the path in front of me. It’s frightened eyes stared into mine – and in the next instant it was dashing off into the forest.
For a while, I wandered aimlessly, the strange sensation still with me. As I reached the Major Oak I could hear horses in the distance, their hooves racing across the ground, and the shouts of men, as if there was some kind of hunt going on. They seemed to be coming my way.
I glanced at the Major Oak, thinking to hide in its trunk, when I saw a flash of light. Was that a sword blade reflecting the sun? Was someone in the trunk already? A head peered out, but in an instant was gone again. And was there a woman there too, with long flowing skirts?
I blinked, rubbed my eyes and looked again.
And the sensation was gone.
I was leaning against the fence, looking over at the major Oak; the majestic tree was old but peaceful. The dark shadows visible where the trunk is riven in two, revealing the cave inside, Robin Hood’s ancient hiding place.
Confused – and not a little flustered – I turned around and made my way back to the Visitor’s Centre for a choc ice, before heading into the nearby village of Edwinstowe, to my Nana Sun’s.
When I told Nana Sun my story, I got a totally unexpected reaction. Instead of ‘stop being silly’, which is her habitual response, she said ‘well, I’m not surprised, your grandfather always felt the connection strongest at the tree’.
I rolled my eyes.
Connection, what connection?
She went on; ‘Robin Hood, of course. He was your grandad’s 18th great-grandad, after all. He did the genealogy thing years ago. He must have been the only person in history NOT to get a royal ancestor from ancestry-what’s-it’s-name.com’
‘Well, that’s ridiculous’ I said, ‘Our surname is Sun, for starters’
‘Ah yes’ said Nana ‘about that…..your grandad’s parents either had a wicked sense of humour – or weren’t very bright, if you know what I mean. Anyway, your great grandma and great grandpa Hood, named your granddad Robin. It caused your grandad no end of trouble at school. He was teased mercilessly.’
A sip of coffee and she carried on, ‘so he changed his surname to Sun. He liked being Robin Sun – well, until that drinks’ company got famous. But grandad couldn’t be bothered to change his name again!’
‘Well, that explains my kleptomania,’ I thought to myself, as I nicked another Bourbon from Nana’s biscuit barrel.
Pictures, taken from Wikipedia. Eye roll courtesy of Twitter
Outlaw: The Story of Robin Hood by Michael Morpurgo; Robin Hood: The tale of the great Outlaw Hero (DK Classic Readers Level 4); Nana Sun; Robinson’s Low Sugar Summer Fruits drink; Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre; Disney’s Robin Hood.
Jeff R Sun is now addicted to genealogy and will be taking a lifetime membership in ancestry-what’s-it’s-name.com – I WILL have a royal ancestor (Everyone else has one, why not me?)
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