What’s a moat for anyway?


Nottingham Castle


“Gisborne, the peasants are gone, Marian and Edward have escaped and I have decided that you are going to fill the moat with a bucket!” the Sheriff fumed.  Gisborne, sensing this was not the time to protest, picked a bucket up and returned the Sheriff’s outbreak with a weak joke, “And am I to fill the bucket with a spoon?”
“I don’t care! Gisborne, I want the moat to be filled by the end of this month. Guards, go find the Lady Marian and her father, Sir Edward.”
The guard, who had answered the Sheriff’s general call, looked blankly at the Sheriff.

“Where do you suggest I look?” he asked.
“Right now all I will suggest is that you go and search until they are found,” the Sheriff answered tersely.
“Try the forest,” Gisborne suggested.
“The forest? But there are some very unsavory characters round that neck of the woods, sorry, I mean the forest.”
“Yes, I know that and I am suggesting you go and look there,” Gisborne answered, frustrated. The guard walked away quickly before Gisborne could suggest anything else.
“M’lord you weren’t serious about filling the moat with a bucket, were you?” Gisborne hoped that the Sheriff was over his joke.
“I couldn’t have been more serious, Gisborne. I don’t quite know why I’m asking you, but what’s a moat for anyway?”
“For protection, as you said earlier today.”
“Right, and exactly how is a dry moat going to offer protection?” the Sheriff questioned Gisborne.
“Ah…it won’t.” 
“So fill the moat for me.”
Gisborne resigned himself to spending the rest of his life transforming the dry and dusty moat with a bucket. So, nodding at the Sheriff, he went to the well and drew his first bucketful of water, then trudged dejectedly over to the moat. The Sheriff followed with his eyes as water poured down, hit the ground with a hiss, and all too quickly disappeared.
“You see, M’lord, it just soaks into the dirt. What should I do?”
“Finish the job!” And with that, the Sheriff stormed off. Gisborne started to think that maybe, just maybe, the Sheriff had gone crazy.

“Now I see why the peasants fled,” he thought.

Three hours later and all Gisborne had filled was a puddle. The Sheriff stood on the drawbridge watching as Gisborne lugged yet another bucket to the moat.
“Stop,” he called out, “You may stop. But next time you could do me a favour and tell me if my plan isn’t working.”
Gisborne felt an overwhelming urge to throw the next bucketful of water at Sheriff, but thought better of it.


1 Response to “What’s a moat for anyway?”

  1. 1 Robin Hood August 6, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Great stories.

    If you want to link to my Robin Hood series 3 blog (and me link back to you), let me know and I’ll place a link on my page.

    Either way, I hope you enjoy all my Robin Hood blogs.

    robin hood:

    robin hood pictures:

    the new robin hood t.v. series:

    robin hood was here:

    robin hood resources:

    best wishes.

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