King Richard and His Brother John: What We Learned from Robin Hood

We watched an animated version of Robin Hood this Sunday on the way home from our ski weekend. It generated a few questions like: “If King Richard was real, was Robin Hood?” and “Is it really okay to steal if you give it to the poor?” and “Can we go to Sherwood Forest?”

But the most in-depth conversation followed a day later:

10 year old: If we were royalty, since I’m the oldest, I would be king.

9 year old: I would be a prince.

10 year old: You know what happened to Prince John when King Richard came back from the Crusades?

9 year old: Richard put him in jail.

10 year old: Didn’t he chop off his head?

9 year old: Nope.

The ten year old looked at me for confirmation.

Me: I don’t think so. Richard was a good guy.

10 year old: If I were Richard, I would only chop off the head of a cousin I didn’t like.

Me: But you like your cousins.

10 year old: Just saying I wouldn’t chop off my brother’s head no matter what.

9 year old: I wouldn’t want to steal your stupid crown anyway.

Me to the 10 year old: The best kings have smart brothers who they can make generals. You’re lucky, because your brother is so good at strategizing. He’d be a good general for you.

10 year old: I’m good at strategizing too!

9 year old: But I am really good at it.

Me: And a good king always surrounds himself with people who are as good at strategizing as he is. That’s how he wins the battles. Good, loyal brothers who are as smart and good as he is, who he can trust more than anybody.

10 year old: Yeah, I wouldn’t chop off his head.

9 year old: Good.

10 year old: Unless you tried to kill me.

Maybe I should have mentioned that the Sherwood Forest Falcons were in desperate need of a quarterback. The battling brothers would have left the five year old to rule uncontested with little need to chop off any heads.


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