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9. The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal. Ryokan returned and caught him.

"You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift."

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away. Ryoken sat naked, watching the moon.

"Poor fellow," he mused, "I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon."

7. Announcement

8. Great Waves

There is no doubt that Marian is a gutsy, courageous presence in the classic ballads. In one version of her entry into the band of Merry Men, disguised in male costume, she challenges Robin, himself disguised, to a duel with swords, and gives as good as she gets:

They drew out their swords, and to cutting they went,
At least an hour or more,
That the blood ran apace from bold Robin’s face,
And Marian was wounded sore.

“O hold thy hand,” said Robin Hood.
“And thou shalt be one of my string,
“To range in the wood with bold Robin Hood,
“And hear the sweet nightingall sing.”

Note that it is Robin who concedes the contest. Far from being embarrassed when they discover each other’s true identities, he welcomes her with open arms into the woodland fraternity. She is already Robin’s lover, as an earlier verse of the ballad makes clear –

With kisses sweet their red lips meet,
For shee and the earl did agree;
In every place, they kindly imbrace,
With love and sweet unity.

- but now she is also his equal in the band.

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Cleopatra was a woman of insatiable sexuality and insatiable avarice ...
Through her own genius, she captivated the two greatest Romans of her
time, and destroyed herself.

~ Roman historian Dio Cassius ~

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