2013-03-21 / General Stories

All The World’s A Stage

by Ron Rundberg

With a bit of imagination and inspiration, a person can transport himself or herself back in time from the 21st century to the 12th century. Recently, I traveled to McDade to attend the fourth Sherwood Forest Faire. Indeed, I had a most marvelous time and spent a full eight hours in Sherwood Forest. I wanted to experience England at the time of King Richard I, a.k.a. Richard the Lion Hearted. The year was 1192, three hundred years before Christopher Columbus’ most historic discovery of the New World in 1492.

As I entered the Sherwood Forest Faire on Sunday, February 10, I was greeted by a great many 21st century folks dressed in 12th century costumes. Many of these people even spoke with a British or Scottish accent. They were like actors or actresses on a Shakespearean stage. I saw Prince John sitting with some of his nobles at a round table similar to that which legendary King Arthur had built for his knights. I was told that Robin Hood, Little John, Will Scarlett and others of the merry men were somewhere in the Faire.

As I strolled through the forest, I saw vendors, actors, jesters, soldiers, archers, priests, tradesmen, artists and other 12th century folk. I kept looking for Robin Hood.

Toward the end of the day, I met some friends of mine – Gary and Theresa Glover. Gary was my last supervisor at the City of Austin where I worked for over 29 years as a draftsman and engineering technician in the Public Works Department. Gary wanted to see the jousting competition where two armored knights on horseback attack each other with lances. It was quite a sight, indeed. One knight knocked the other off his horse and then, the two commenced to fight with swords on the ground. The three of us enjoyed this event.

Then, we went to the falconry stage to see some birds of prey called “Sky Kings.” We saw a barn owl, a Harris hawk, a black vulture, and an aplomado falcon do some amazing maneuvers in the sky directed by the falconer. It was a spectacular sight to view these four very well trained raptors performing for all of us at the event.

The last event we attended that day was an archery contest with Robin Hood himself. He and eight or nine other archers took turns shooting at a target perhaps 25 yards or so away. I thought to myself, “Surely nobody can beat Robin Hood.” That turned out to be the case. However, Robin had to shoot the best out of three rounds. On his first shot Robin Hood scored a bulls-eye! Another archer also scored a bulls-eye. But, Robin Hood persevered with the best marks overall. Afterwards, Robin allowed me to pose for a photo with him.

My sole regret is that I did not come in costume for this event. However, I did begin to speak in Latin as an educated person or priest would have done in the 12th century. Friar Tuck, Robin Hood’s priest, would have spoken in Latin for his Catholic Mass. I spoke to some of the Sherwood Forest people in Latin and they answered me in King James English with words such as thee, thy, hither and thither.

Remember the immortal words which William Shakespeare allowed Jaques to say? “All the world’s a stage.” In a sense, we men and women are all acting out various roles in our lives. May all your roles be positive ones.

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