The rest of their journey was relatively uneventful.
Mother Elephant recovered several days later with the tender care of Nanny, who it turned out was a quite capable nurse among her many other talents. She never left the Mother Elephant for a moment, making sure she was warm enough, sometimes even using her own body for extra heat, though the baby elephants usually closed in to add warmth as well.
It was quite a site to Samuel and Jimbo as they watched that last morning.
Robin and Smarn were off scouting for the best path back to their home, which was also where they wanted to go.
When Samuel told Robin about Lady Marantha his eyes lit up. "Oh her!"
Smarn smiled. "Smarn!"
Robin glowered at him. "You lovesick puppy!"
Robin eyed Jimbo, who had this look on his face. "Everyone loves her. They can't help it, she has a charm on her."
"Charm?" Jimbo demanded. "No one is charmed!"
"Little do you know, oh tall one." Robin replied, even though he was as tall as Jimbo.
Jimbo looked flustered a moment. "Tell me how then!"
"Do you not believe in the goodness of the One Light?"
Jimbo rolled his eyes. "There we go with all the hocus pocus, spiritual mumbo jumbo again."
Robin looked at Samuel. "Is he always like this?"
"Pretty much." Samuel agreed, winking at Jimbo, who gave him a disgusted look, then walked away, pretending to go looking for food.
"He's in love with the Mommy and the daughter, I take it." Robin commented, as he and Samuel watched Nanny hugging the Mother Elephant, who put her trunk around Nanny's neck and hugged her back.
"Aren't you?" Samuel asked, a hint of amusement in his eye.
"I suppose." Robin said, a touch of sadness in his voice and eyes. "There was one like her once I cared for quite deeply. We came here after the War of the Roses saw the defeat of good King Richard."
"I don't remember him thought of as a good king." Samuel remarked.
"You wouldn't. Those times were rife with the hand of the church, which rewrote history to whichever way it served it. Hence, I becoming a legend to your world, when I was quite real."
"You're that...Robin Hood!" Jimbo exclaimed, having come back with a handful of odd fruit.
"Exactly. And the love of my life was none other than..."
"Maid Marion." Jimbo jumped in with, looking excited for the first time in days.
"My heart and soul."
Robin touched his heart, then wiped at his eyes. The memories were burning his heart once more. Though he was not one to look back, but instead forward, these moments of remembrance were bringing up old pains. He would have to speak to Methusaleh about it, to see if there were something he could do to heal that wound, which it obviously still was, in his heart.
He took a deep breath, then looked up. "Ah, your young friend looks ready to take a journey!"
Nanny joined them. She took Robin's hand and squeezed it. "I wanted to thank you again for rescuing us."
"Oh, it didn't look to me so much like we were rescuing you as assisting you." Robin said with absolute humility. He gave her a half bow and kissed her hand, his eyes never leaving hers. "Though I must admit that I would not find it hard to imagine risking my life to rescue one so fair as..."
"Look at that!" Jimbo interrupted, pointing to the sky. "A flying whatzit!"
Robin jerked away from Nanny's hand and looked.
Samuel burst into laughter.
Nanny and Robin both looked at him.
"Jimbo, time to leave this place, I think."
So they had packed up what little supplies they had gathered, using giant leaves as backpacks, that they had sewn together with strips of bark from the nearby trees. For canteens they used hollow nut shells the size of footballs that had fallen from some of the trees.
Jimbo had come up with the idea when Robin had told him they made their canteens from pieces of wood wrapped with cloth.
Smarn was silent for the rest of the journey, except for the occasional laughter he would give off when the baby elephants ran between his legs as he walked, playing tag with each other. The Mother Elephant followed Nanny like a pet dog, always close to her, its eyes on her constantly.
Robin noticed. "I think even our elephant friend is in love with...what's her name again?"
"Nanny." Jimbo said.
"Nanette." Samuel answered.
Jimbo gave Samuel a searching look.
"She told me when you weren't listening. Out for one of your nature hikes."
"Oh. Yeah. I think she is too. Who wouldn't be? She's smart, pretty as a rose, sharp as a tack..."
"A tack?" Robin asked.
"It's like a nail, but smaller and used to pin paper to boards."
"Why would people waste paper like that?" Robin asked in confusion.
Jimbo winked. "You'd be surprised at some of the things people do upearth these days."
Robin eyed Nanny fiercely as he made his next remark. "I've been thinking a lot about doing just that lately."
"What?" Jimbo asked.
Jimbo caught where Robin was looking and grew fiercesome looking for a moment. Samuel was about to say something, when Jimbo laughed. "You just go on thinking that, feather boy!"
Robin gave Jimbo a scowl, but said nothing in return.
Jimbo had found something that got to Robin and wasn't letting go it.
"With that fancy hat and bow you'll be an instant hit upearth. Robin Hood. Your Medieval boyfriend available for romance."
Jimbo barked with laughter at his own mean spirited joke.
Smarn looked back and growled, revealing his teeth.
Jimbo stopped laughing.
Samuel laughed then. "Oh for the peace of my balcony back in Vegas again."
Robin turned to Samuel. "Tell me about this mythical place called...Vegas."
Jimbo responded instead. "You'd love it there. Thieves run the place and all the women in the shows there are half naked or more."
Robin gave Jimbo a horrorfied look. "That is indeed most foul! What maiden of honor would ever reveal herself in such ways?"
Jimbo was suddenly dumbfounded and speechless. He couldn't think of anything to reply that made sense.
Samuel saved him. "Look, I can see the lake again."
They all stopped on the rise they had just reached the top of and looked down at the people working in the fields. The hint of smoke came from the thick forests beyond the waters.
"You'll like it here in Sherwood Forest." Robin pointed out with pride.
"Sherwood Forest?" Nanny asked with surprise.
"Oh yes. When I first arrived here I immediately saw that it was the spitting image of the resplendent forests of Old England we had resided within."
Smarn shook his head, but Robin ignored him.
"We even have tree houses."
Smarn shook his head.
Robin gave him a scowl. "Well, some of us do."
Smarn didn't move.
John Pirillo"Writing fuels the heart and soul!" Science Fiction, Fantasy and Adventure Tales to Take Your Breath Away!