Lizzie Silver of Sherwood Forest
Illustrated by: Miriam Nerlove
Published by: Harper & Row, 1986
Copyright © Marilyn Singer 1986

Lizzie Silver Of Sherwood Forest


“Take that!  And that!  And that!” I said.  My sword rang out against the Sheriff of Nottingham’s.  He was a good swordsman.  Too good.  I couldn’t hold him off much longer.  Suddenly, with a quick parry, he knocked my sword out of my hands.  He laughed a nasty laugh.  “Breathe your last, Maid Lizzie,” he said, pressing the sharp point of his sword against my throat.

Suddenly a flash of Lincoln green.  “First you will reckon with me, sir,” said a low voice.

The Sheriff of Nottingham spun around.  He was face to face with Robin Hood.  “Here, Elizabeth, catch!” Robin called, tossing me my sword, just as three of the sheriff’s men found us.  “Back to back!” ordered Robin.

I smiled.  It was our favorite strategy.  “Take that!” I yelled, striking out.  One of the sheriff’s men fell.  Robin struck down another.  We were evenly matched again.

And then Robin stumbled.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the sheriff raise his sword to deliver a deadly blow.  I whirled around to fend it off…

“What are you doing in that weird position, Lizzie?  Studying some new form of yoga?” my sister, Rona, said.

I dropped my arms and sat down on my bed.  “How many times have I told you not to come into my room without knocking?”

Rona ignored my question.  “I bet you were pretending to be Robin Hood again.”

“I don’t pretend to be Robin Hood,” I said.  “Robin Hood is a man.”

“Robin Hood is a make-believe character, like Snow White or E.T.,” said Rona.

“That’s not true!” I yelled.

We’d had this argument before, Rona and me, and I always got angry at her during it.  I don’t know why I couldn’t just ignore her.  But I couldn’t.  I love Robin Hood too much.

I found out about Robin Hood from Buster.  Buster is my best friend Tessa’s uncle.  She doesn’t like him that much, but I do.  He used to dress up as famous Busters, like Buster Keaton and Buster Brown.  He said it was to “wake people up,” to surprise them.  He doesn’t do that anymore, though; he says a person shouldn’t always stick to the same thing to wake people up–and besides, he ran out of Busters.  Anyway, Buster gave me this book called Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest.  I don’t much like books, but I sure liked that one.  I read it so fast, Buster promised to get me another book with more stories about Robin Hood.  I can’t wait.

Mom says that Robin Hood is my latest obsession.  I asked her what an obsession is, and she said it means when you never stop thinking of something or someone.  She said Ariadne was my last obsession.  Ariadne is my pet tarantula.  I wanted a tarantula for a long time.  I guess I did think about her a lot.  And I did all sorts of things to get her.  it was Buster who helped me in the end.  But I didn’t think about Ariadne all the time.  I don’t think about Robin Hood all the time either.  I don’t think about him when I sleep (except if I have a dream about him) or when I watch Ariadne (except sometimes).