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Robin Hood: An Interview with the Legend
A transcript of an interview by Ursula Pierce, England Legend Daily News
UP: You’re widely known as the hero of Nottingham—robbing the rich to feed the poor. How do you cope with that sort of legend status?
RH: I don’t buy into it. I don’t rob the rich to feed the poor, anyway. That’s just something that somebody thought up as, I don’t know, a metaphor or something. I stop bandits who come through Sherwood to make it safe for people to pass through. Three years ago it was so bad that people tried to bypass the road entirely, which was especially hard on tourism and all of that because, you know, nobody was coming to Nottingham. The road through Sherwood was the only way there.
UP: What about your Merry Men?
RH: Well…we don’t call them that. They’re just my friends. They help me out. When they started calling them Merry Men, one of them—Much—nearly laughed himself sick. They’re not necessarily merry. They’re just young.
UP: So how do you account for all the stories going around about you? There are a lot of different versions.
RH: Well, here’s the thing, you do stuff like this and suddenly, you get—you know—everybody in the world wants to make you into something you’re not. Like rob the rich to feed the poor. They want to mold you into something that you don’t buy into in the least, but that suits their purposes. I heard of some kid down in Transylvania who was absolutely certain I hunted vampires. You get somebody you think is heroic, and suddenly the image, not the person, is what’s important.
UP: What’s the most ridiculous rumor you’ve ever heard?
RH: About me and Maid Marian. That’s from people who’ve never met me, obviously. She’s my cousin, and anyway, you understand, now you see me, why that’s ridiculous to a fault.
UP: Yes, yes. Now I see.
RH: I mean, that’s another example of people just thinking one thing and never—never really considering that there might be other ways of thinking. It’s all part of the legend. But they never look at my name and consider, well, maybe? I mean…you know.
UP: Yes. Yes I do.
UP: Do you ever have difficulties, meeting people? With what they think you are?
RH: I think it shocks them. A lot of them. One man was so angry with me he just about spit. I think a lot of people feel that way. And I think girls, in particular, are disappointed.
UP: Because it wrecks their hero worship?
RH: Yes, exactly.
UP: Do you think you deal with a lot of prejudice?
RH: Prejudice? Yes. To a point. I think that having them say what they do about me helps me, in the long run, because they don’t realize and then they aren’t biased about it or anything. It’s all right because of how they portray me. Once they know how I am, a lot of them are so crazy angry at me that they start spreading the nastiest rumors they can guess. But, you know, I don’t find that any of it has affected how I do things. I still shoot a bow and arrow the same, right, and that’s what’s really important.
UP: Is it odd, living with the Merry Men, because of the way that you are?
RH: I’ve known a lot of them since childhood, so I don’t think they notice it at all anymore. It’s like when you’re around somebody for long enough, things like that just start blurring. Will Scarlet—he’s one of the newer ones—was a little bothered, I think, for a while, but he eventually got over it.
UP: Do they treat you like one of them?
RH: Absolutely. They smack me in the shoulder, they throw food on me. They’ve got no problem in the world treating me like one of them, because to them, I am one of them. I don’t think they really even consider it.
UP: Do you ever want to tell the entire world how you are, and correct them all about it? Or does the myth serve your purposes?
RH: It doesn’t bother me, if that’s what you mean. I’ve never felt the need to come out and say it, loud and proud. For some of them, I think it’s better that they don’t know.
UP: I think that about wraps it up.
RH: Does it? Well, that’s perfect. I think I’ve got enough time to practice a little.
UP: We’ll let you get back to saving the forest.
RH: Thank you.
UP: Thank you, Miss Hood.