At the risk of flogging a dead horse - judging by the lack of response, and the number of hits, here is a further insight into this piece of folklore.
ROBIN HOOD – Early Days
Harold Hood was taking an hour or two off in the afternoon from his Bookshop in the centre of Nottingham. He was one of those entrepreneurs who recognised an opportunity when it presented itself. After old Bill Caxton had developed his printing press, it was only a matter of time before books would be the next big thing, and Harold intended to see that the good citizens of his home town had an outlet to satisfy their craving for the printed word.
From a small beginning in a back street, his business had flourished rapidly, and he now had one of the most prestigious shops in the High Street. From a single handed operation in the early days, he now had a manager and five assistants to deal with the flow of customers visiting the premises. So he could afford to take the time off, now and again.
The reason for his absence on this particular afternoon, was the upcoming birthday of his son Robin – rapidly approaching the age of eight. Although Robin had mastered the art of reading, and his father would have been delighted to give him anything from within his extensive stock, it was unfortunately the case that nothing had yet been produced in print to appeal to those of tender years. Harold hoped that Robin, in due course, would follow on in his footsteps, and continue the bookshop to greater things, but meantime his son deserved some other occupation to fill his spare time.
At a recent County Show, Robin had shown great interest in an Archery competition, and had to be dragged away forcibly from watching it. Harold’s manager, on hearing of this event had ventured the information that the local toyshop had among it’s wares, an archery set with suction cups on the arrows, instead of sharp pointed tips, and Harold reckoned that these might keep his son amused without causing havoc to the surroundings. The toyshop did have a set still in stock and Harold returned to his emporium, a happy man.
It is probably quite a coincidence that Emily Hood, Robin’s mother was on this particular afternoon, also out and about, in the centre of Nottingham, with the upcoming birthday present in her mind. She, also had noticed her son’s preoccupation with the aforementioned Archery competition and repaired to the same toyshop to see what they might have on offer in that field. Unfortunately, she was told, they did have the very thing that she was looking for, but the last one in stock had already been sold – that very afternoon.
Emily therefore, deprived of her first choice, settled for a set of coloured pencils and a drawing pad, as she had always fancied her son to have an artistic talent, and she wanted to provide him with alternative choices should he not meekly follow on in his father’s footsteps
At home, meantime, Robin, sitting on his rocking horse, could hear the sound of his nanny filtering up from the kitchen, where she was preparing his tea. He was musing about his forthcoming birthday, and was hoping that, whatever his presents, books would not be among them. Although he could read passably well, the printed word did not hold out the same interest as outdoor activities, and at this stage in his young life, his father’s shop did not seem like the ideal future career for him.
Although, a lot cannot be deduced from thoughts and actions at this particular stage, it is patently clear that neither Harold nor Emily can blame the other for subsequent events.