FRIAR TUCK?

Among the merry band of outlaws who served bold Robin Hood was one whose sackcloth gown and girdle of rushes contrasted strangely with the Lincoln green doublets of the others. This was Friar Tuck, the genial confessor of the little company. A valiant friar he was, tall and strong, with brawny arms, long black beard and round red cheeks, a lusty fighter, and a good trencherman. His favourite dish was venison, and many a deer did he steal from the neighbouring estates. When the Black Knight, whom Robin Hood had befriended, turned out to be the lawful king, Richard I of England, and wanted to make the stout clerk a yeoman of his guard, Friar Tuck declined the offer, preferring a free life in the greenwood. Such is Friar Tuck as Sir Walter Scott depicts him in " Ivanhoe," but he also appears in the May Day morris dances of our countryside, a little different from Scott's conception in appearance, but the same in essence-a bold, rollicking Churchman, who loves good food, good sport, and good, fresh air.