12. Caught Red Handed

But further down the forest road another group of foresters were dragging and beating a captive towards the Sheriff.

“Another poacher?” He asked.

“Caught red handed, sire, shooting the king’s fallow deer.” The head forester boasted.

“I had no other meat,” Will Stutely said simply. “To pay the tax to graze my swine, I sold my calf. For the tax to build a sheepfold I sacrificed my pigs. And when you foresters ate me out of house and home, while taxing me for gathering hazel nuts, I fared into the forest and killed a deer…..”

The head forester pulled out a knife, “shall I give him his ears to eat?”

“Nay,” said the Sheriff, “use your knife on the deer. Bring me the hide to Nottingham and this carrion with it.”

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