It was over. The battle was won and Robin Hood had emerged the victor. After eight long years of fighting the corruption in his country, the oppression and abuse of his people, Robin Hood had knocked the Sheriff of Nottingham off his high horse, defeated Guy of Gisborne and even, yes, shaken the absolute hold Prince John had on his monarchy. By the time King Richard Lion Heart returned from his crusade, there was peace and a sense of justice. As a token of his gratitude for all that Robin had done, King Richard had Robin of Locksley, called “Hood”, named Sheriff of Nottingham.
The irony was not lost on the general public.
There was a problem, though. While their enemies had been thwarted in their immediate ambitions, problems still existed. There was still scarcity in the country; resources still flowed to the cities where most people lived while the people of Sherwood Forest wondered why their children still starved.
Robin Hood had proved to be a very effective leader at uniting the people against a common enemy, but now that he was in a position of power, he found that there was much more to governing than disposing of one’s enemies. Mouths needed to be fed, which meant that pockets needed to be lined, which means that coffers needed to be filled, and that was why the people had been taxed so hard.
“By why can’t we just put those taxes on the rich?” Robin Hood finally demanded of King Richard. “They have the money and the resources! They won’t starve if they help other people not starve.”
His exclamation was met with an icy stare. “They may have the money, but more importantly, they control the armies. They each have their own men. If I raid their personal treasuries, what do you think they’ll do to me? They will rally behind my brother and they will overthrow me.”
This was not an answer that Robin Hood could bring to his merry men. So when they asked him what the King had said, he answered that there were laws in place and that even the King was not above them.
But they had heard of laws before and knew how fragile they could be. He could not convince them that there was not enough food for them when they were the ones who were growing it. He could not convince them that they could not prevail when they had already come so far.
So he asked himself “What am I fighting for?” and realized the only person he was fighting was himself and he was fighting because he had become the system.
Robin Hood took off his badge and picked up his bow again.
“What are you doing?” demanded King Richard. “After all I have done for you, all the power I have given you, this is how you treat me?”
“I have seen what your power can do,” said Robin of Locksley. “It no longer impresses me. If you cannot provide the people with what they need, what good are you? What kind of King?”