Robin Hood and his Merry Men lived a long, long time ago. Their home was hidden away in a secret part of Sherwood Forest in England.
This is a story about Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow.
In those days ordinary people sometimes lived hard lives. But Robin always made sure they had enough to eat and had warm clothes in the wintertime.
The Sheriff of Nottingham was not a nice man. He made the poor people give him money, even when they didn’t have very much to give.
Good old Robin used to trick the Sheriff. It made the Sheriff very angry. He wanted to put Robin in prison. But he could never catch him!
In this story the Sheriff thinks he has a clever plan to capture Robin.
One evening the Sheriff was talking to his friend, the Abbot.
In those days many people loved a sport called archery. Firing arrows at targets was very popular.
The Sheriff said, “What if we hold a competition to find out who is the best archer in the country?”
The Abbot said, “Robin is the finest archer in the land. But he is very clever and he might think it’s a trap?”
“When Robin hears about the prize, I just know he will be there,” said the Sheriff.
“What is the prize?” asked the Abbot.
“An arrow,” said the Sheriff.
“That’s not much of a prize,” said the Abbot.
The Sheriff smiled and said, “But this arrow is very special and nothing has ever been seen like it before.”
The Abbot looked very interested and said, “How is this arrow so special?”
“It is made of white gold and the tip and feathers are pure yellow gold.”
“How clever you are,” said the Abbot.
The Sheriff ordered a grand archery contest to be held on the field outside the city walls.
When Robin heard about the contest, he thought it would be brilliant to claim the prize from the Sheriff himself. The very idea made him giggle.
The people of Nottingham knew that the Sheriff had never been able to catch Robin.
Robin blew his horn to call his Merry Men to meet at the oldest tree in the forest.
He said, “Men, next week we will go to Nottingham and take part in the Sheriff’s archery match. I really want to bring that golden arrow back to our forest.”
The Merry Men thought that would be a very good idea.
One of the Merry Men was a great big man. He was like a jolly giant with a huge smile on his face. You won’t believe it but his name was Little John. He said, “We can sell the arrow and give the poor people money so they can buy firewood for the winter!”
On the day of the grand contest Robin and over a hundred Merry Men gathered on the field. Robin ordered that just he and the five best shots in his band would take part in the match.
The Merry Men crowded around so that Robin would not be recognised. And he wore a hood over his head so that no one could see his face.
Little John, Much the Miller’s Son and Will Scarlet stepped forward to aim their bows. Their aims were good and they all hit the target. Then it was Robin’s turn.
The Sheriff watched from his chair. He recognised Robin right away from the way he walked. He said to himself, “I knew he would come. Soon he will take his prize and I shall have mine.”
Some long sticks were stuck upright in the ground and they were very hard to hit with an arrow. But Robin split the first one right down the middle with his first shot.
Nobody else could aim an arrow like Robin! He had won the contest.
Robin went up to the sheriff to claim his prize.
With a great big smile on his face, he held the golden arrow above his head.
Then a horn sounded and the sheriff’s men rushed at Robin.
Suddenly every one of the hundred Merry Men appeared out of the crowd. They held up their bows and arrows and aimed them at the Sheriff’s men.
Little John shouted out, “You know we are the best shots in England, don’t you?”
The crowd cheered, as everyone liked Little John.
The Sheriff’s men looked nervous. One began to cry, “I’m frightened of arrows,” he sniffed.
Next thing you knew, the Sheriff’s men started to run away!
The Sheriff was really angry.
He stood up and shouted, “I’ll catch you next time, you’ll see!”
Robin and his Merry Men laughed when they saw the Sheriff was so angry his face had turned red.
Little John shouted out, “Look everyone; the Sheriff of Nottingham looks like a tomato!”
The whole crowd started laughing their heads off and that made the Sheriff even angrier. And the angrier he got the more the crowd laughed.
Robin sold the arrow and just as Little John had promised they gave all the money to the poor people to buy firewood.
And that’s the story of Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow.
Can you read this story for free?
Yes! You can read this modern retelling for free. Our story retellings closely follow the original storylines and add modern twists in the illustrations.
Is there a read aloud version?
You can choose to experience this story read aloud or you can read it yourself.