Read by Natasha.
Adapted by Bertie.
Proofread by Claire Deakin.
The Sheriff who Came to Dinner with Robin Hood
Robin Hood liked to invite guests to dine with him at his table in Sherwood Forest. If his guests were rich and powerful he would ask them to pay for their dinner with gold or jewels – But if they were poor or down on their luck, he would help them out with money from his own coffers. In this story, I’ll tell you how Robin entertained the Sheriff of Nottingham – who was very rich and powerful indeed.
Robin Hood’s most trusted outlaw was Little John. In fact, there was nothing little about him at all – he was huge. If there was one thing that he really loved, it was his food. In particular, he liked to eat venison – which is the meat of deer. There were plenty of deer in Sherwood Forest, but it was forbidden to shoot them by punishment of death. The law didn’t stop Little John because he feared nothing or nobody.
Sometimes he would arrive at Robin Hood’s lair with a bag full of hares, partridges, and pheasants and he would say to Robin, “Come on my friend, let’s get a good fire going. I’ll soon have these ready for roasting and what a fine dinner we shall have.”
But quite often Robin would make Little John wait for his dinner until a rich and respectable guest had come to join them. At those times, when Little John was hungry, he would become very tetchy and bad tempered indeed. All the other robbers who lived with Robin Hood would stay out of his way, because nobody wanted to get into a fight with a man as big and strong as Little John.
One day, Robin asked Little John to go into the city of Nottingham to see if he could pick up any news or gossip. It so happened that on that same day there was a shooting competition in the market place. Little John could not resist a chance to show of his skill with his bow and arrow, and he paid the fee of one penny to join the contest.
Each archer had to shoot an arrow into a post. Those who missed dropped out, and those that hit it went on to the next round when the posts were moved further back. Little John split six posts down the middle with his arrows. Nobody else could match him.
The Sheriff of Nottingham gave him the first prize and declared:- “This man is the best archer that I ever did see. Say now, my hearty young man, what is your name and where were you born?”
“I was born in Yorkshire,” replied Little John, “and my name is Reynold Grenelef.”
“Well then, Reynold Grenelef,” said the Sheriff, “Come and work for me. I will pay you 20 marks a year and give you food and shelter.”
If he had known who Little John really was, he would have taken him not to his house, but to the gaol – for the Sheriff was the law around those parts, and the law had no greater enemies than Robin Hood and Little John.
At first Little John tried to think of a cheeky reply to the Sheriff’s offer, and then he thought to himself, “So help me. I shall be the worst servant he ever had.”
And he said out loud: “I thank your Lordship. I shall come to your house this evening and begin my service for you. I promise that you will never have another servant to the like of Reynold Grenelef.”
That evening, Little John settled into his new home in the servant’s quarters in the mansion belonging to the Sheriff of Nottingham. He had not eaten all day, and so he called out to the steward who was in charge of the dining hall, “Good steward I pray, when will dinner be?”
To which the Steward replied:, “There will be no dinner for you until the master gets back.”
“And when will that be?” asked Little John.
“Not until next week, for he’s gone hunting with the Abbot.”
At this, Little John picked up the steward and began to shake him. “What? A whole week without food? That will be the worse for my temper, and your head, for I swear I’ll take a crowbar and beat you with it.”
The butler heard the row, and came to give the new servant a clout round the ears, but when he saw the size of Little John, he held back. Little John pushed past him and kicked door open.
Inside the kitchen he found a keg of wine, which he cracked open and began to guzzle from it. Then he seized a leg of lamb out of the pantry, and started to tear chunks of meat off it with his teeth.
The cook had not seen Little John before, and was amazed that a stranger should dare to burst into his kitchen and help himself to food and drink. He came up to Little John and gave him three good punches in the belly.
Little John looked up and said, “Give me more of those. I liked them well.”
Then the cook drew his sword, then Little John drew his. As neither would back away, they set about each other with their blades.
Out on the road they fought, and across the green. Their clashing steel made so much noise that you might have thought that two whole armies were in battle. Their swords were made thick and strong for breaking open armour. Neither man grew tired as they wielded their heavy weapons for over an hour.
“I swear by my true life,” said Little John, “that you are the best swordsman that I ever did see. If only you can shoot as well with a bow, then you should come with me to Greenwood and join the band of Robin Hood. You’ll have three new sets of clothes a year and 20 marks for your purse.”
And the cook replied, “Set down your sword and we shall be friends.”
As they were both hungry after the fight, they went back to the Sheriff’s house and stuffed themselves with sweet meats from the pantry. After that, they gathered all the precious things that they could find around the house. They took goblets and plates, trays and caskets. Nor did they forget the silver spoons. They found a crowbar and broke into the safe where they found plenty of money in gold coins. All this they put into a chest and rode off with it to Greenwood and Robin Hood.
Robin was greatly amused by Little John’s story of his time in the service of the Sheriff, and he was indeed pleased with the chest full of loot – but he said, “I cannot eat off the Sheriff’s plate unless his Lordship joins us here in Greenwood for dinner.”
Thinking this over, Little John said, “Then let me fetch the Sheriff to you.”
He rode off across the forest to the Sheriff’s hunting lodge, and waited for him to return back from the day’s hunting with his hounds. When the Sheriff saw his new servant he said, “So look who it is – Reynold Grenelef. What brings you here my man?”
Little John knelt before him and said, “Good master. Five miles from here is one of the fairest sights I ever did see: Tender young hares and a herd of sixty or more deer. I did not dare aim my arrows for fear of the law, but thought I’d come and to tell you what I saw.”
The Sheriff replied that it would be a delight to watch Little John display his hunting skills with the longbow and arrow and added,
“Fear not the law, for I am the law here and I would love to see this sport.”
Then Little John led the Sheriff across the forest but not to the hunting grounds, for he took him instead to the camp of Robin Hood and his band of outlaws.
When the Sheriff saw that he was surrounded by brigands he exclaimed, “Reynold Grenelef. You have betrayed me!”
Little John replied with, “Master, I swear it was not my fault, for your steward and your butler would not give me dinner.”
Then Little John made the Sheriff take off his fine clothes and gave them to his cook, who put them on.
Robin invited the Sheriff, just wearing his shirt and britches, to sit down at his table with his cook on one side and his ‘servant’, Little John, on the other. He placed before him his own silver plate, and filled his own goblet with wine. The feast was a good one, but the Sheriff had lost his appetite. He did not believe that he would leave the forest alive.
“Cheer up Lord Sheriff,” said Robin, “for I give you your life. You can live here with me for a year and I’ll teach you to be an outlaw.”
The Sheriff replied, “Better that in the morning you cut off my head.”
So Robin said: “Better in the morning that you should go free, but first you must swear an oath by St. Mary that you will never do any harm to me or my men.”
The Sheriff was too proud to agree to such a promise right away, but in the morning, after a night as the guest of Robin Hood, he thought better of it, and he agreed to swear the oath:
“For as long as I live I shall be Robin Hood’s best friend, and if any day or night, by water or by land, I shall ever find Robin Hood or any of his men, I shall help them in any way I can.”
When he had sworn his oath, the Sheriff went on his way home, still wearing just his shirt and breeches, and riding on a mule.
Hello from a Russian tutor and his pupils to all who admires Robin Hood and his Merry men such as Little John and others. What a nice site you’ve got! It’s a real pleasure to read and listen to your audio files. Thanks a lot and good luck!
this site is wonderful i wish there where more of this site
January 7, 2009
January 20, 2009
hi robin hood
January 27, 2009
for some reasen i dont like robin hodde i dont get it
January 31, 2009
can u explain this story in short?
February 17, 2009
this was the most awesomest book read by natasha. it is the best one in the series.
March 19, 2009
Dear bertie,Robin Hood is my best book
April 9, 2009
i like your story it is cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
October 7, 2009
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October 7, 2009
from new bedford high!!! yea it was ok i guess!!!!!!!!!!!! nd the narator was excellent!!!!!!!!! =)
it is wonderful. isn’t it possible for the audio stories to be accompanied with pictures of the book/ as I , as a mom of two children, suppose the children especially younger than 10 would enjoy the pictures more than words.thanks any way,hale nayeri firstname.lastname@example.org
April 1, 2010
I don’t get it for some reason.
April 1, 2010
I Like when little Jonn betrayed the shiriff
May 20, 2010
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[…] Arrow Download the audioThis is the latest story in our Robin Hood series. In an earlier story (The Sheriff Who Came to Dinner) Little John tricked the Sheriff of Nottingham into coming to dinner with Robin Hood. Before he […]
i love the story i have read millions of versons of robin hood and this is my favriote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May 12, 2012
Bad big boy this story is awesome I can’t believe you would say other wise!!!!!!!!!!!!!
July 2, 2012
IT IS BIG AND CURLY LIKE A SMILE
October 5, 2012
riting a paper about this hey could you make some more eposde
March 28, 2014
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March 31, 2014
love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
June 17, 2014
Hey I read everything but this in storynory I have other websites to finish
July 28, 2014
Hey I read everything but this in storynory I have other websites to finish. I like your ghost video from Halloween.
July 28, 2014
i love your story , i will always listen to it
princess anna —
September 26, 2014
I like this story & it helps for my studies not only mental study life study.
LOGESH.S DGL —
September 29, 2014
Tony ### —
October 6, 2014
great story can you get alex rider? pls reply
October 7, 2014
really good i love robin hood
November 8, 2014
well done great im above as well i love the sherrif who came to dinner with robin hood.
November 8, 2014
Hi Bertie I was wondering about another story called the golden arrow and think you should put it on storynory if you already have then its not on my page anyway please respond thanks
January 28, 2015
i love this story
February 2, 2015
March 16, 2015
Not that good
March 17, 2015
March 17, 2015
March 17, 2015
March 19, 2015
i liked the story because it was read to me in class by my teacher.
April 2, 2015
Great bedtime story
The lady and the baron —
April 23, 2015
I very like it 🙂
May 3, 2015
robin hood is (insert exclamation here)
November 4, 2015
I wish you would stop making all these weird voices.
Anna Fresa —
December 4, 2015
I love storynory so much
December 11, 2015
I love storynory so much because it´s very very exiting!
Listen or reading the story again and again!