SCENE: The Blue Boar Inn, Sherwood Forest. Robin Hood and his Merry Men walk in. A group of peasants are gazing gloomily into their tankards …
‘Good morrow, stout yeomen, what ails ye?’
– ‘Well, Robin, ’tis Boris the Bastard, Sheriff of Nottingham. He says we can no longer venture into the wildwood and clear trees to grow crops.’
‘Forsooth, but why? From time immemorial it has been every freeborn Englishman’s right to farm by cutting back the Sherwood Forest greenery.’
– ‘It’s not called Sherwood Forest any more. It’s now Sherwood Eco-Rewilding Enterprises (1150) Inc. Only the gentry will be allowed in, along with bears, wolves, boar and deer, which they can hunt.’
‘But how will you peasants grow crops for food?’
– ‘Boris says we must forage. His wife, Lady Carrie the Cruel, has summoned our womenfolk to the castle kitchen to show them how to make acorn cake, dandelion dainties and pig-muck profiteroles.’
‘This is an outrage! Right, my Merry Men, string your bows, check your arrows, and follow me to Nottingham Castle. We’ll soon sort out Boris. Yes, what is it, Little John?’
– ‘Hang on a minute, Robin. Right now, we outlaws have our secret hideout by the Great Oak in Sherwood, from where we rob the rich to give to the poor and quaff good English ale each night while singing heartily and feasting on illegally-caught venison.’
– ‘Not a bad gaff is it?
‘Er, no, I suppose not.’
– ‘Well, just think, with this rewilding lark, there’ll be lots more animals roaming around which we can hunt. The trees will grow thicker to give us more cover, and if only the gentry are allowed in, there’s be lots of fat purses to rob. What’s not to like?’
‘But what about the starving peasants?
– ‘Let them eat acorn cake.’