Once upon a time, there was a boy named Robbing. Robbing was an orphan and the village in which he lived gave him the name, “Robbing Misunderstood,” for the boy was different from many others in the village.
You see, because Robbing was familiar with misfortune, he would steal food from the rich and give it to the poor. Then, he would steal the food from the poor and give it to the animals. Then, he would steal the food from the animals and give it to the plants. Then, he would steal the food from the plants and dump it into the ocean. Robbing always saw someone less fortunate than someone else.
One day, King Porta-John was parading through the square, bragging about how he would soon be collecting food taxes now that his older brother, King Lizard, had gone missing.
King Porta-John was a crappy leader.
He would eat all day and all night with the windows to his dining room left open, rain or shine, so the starving people of the village could watch him pigging out.
Robbing first stole from King Porta-John on Robbing’s own birthday.
King Porta-John kept track of EVERYONE’s birthday in the village, that way, he could eat a birthday cake in front of whomever’s birthday it was, and send him or her an invitation to watch him eat the cake! After the local bakery was foreclosed on, this was especially maddening. On his birthday, Robbing actually stole all of the flour in the castle, making it impossible for any cake to be baked at all!
That was the day that Robbing, for the first time, gave flour to the poor, then to the animals, then to the plants, then to the ocean. And it made him feel good (albeit misunderstood). Since that day, the king had been searching for Robbing to execute him.
Robbing wasn’t all alone on his mission to make the world a better place, though. His best friend, Whittle Ron (for he loved to whittle, but that’s not really of consequence to the story), helped him on all of his missions.
That winter, the village was only permitted to eat broth and crusts of bread because King Porta-John wanted all of the good food in the kingdom for himself (even though there was no way he’d be able to eat it all).
People were hungry, getting sick, and still expected not to even eat so much as a bite of fruit or vegetables or cakes or take a sip of milk.
While King Porta-John was a terrible tyrant, the daughter of the former village sheriff before he had died, Maid Sharean (for she was all about sharing with others) continued to advocate to the king on behalf of the villagers. King Porta-John never listened and only tolerated her for he hoped to marry her someday. But Sharean had standards, so that would never happen.
As the situation in the village grew dimmer, Robbing stole more and more from the king and the villagers would know to take as much as they could of what Robbing would give them before he stole it the following night to give it to the animals, then the plants, then the ocean.
The king was becoming furious, so he fashioned a contest for villagers: Whoever could bake the best cake would receive a year’s supply of food!
Ironically, Robbing had been the son of the bakers who had lost their shop many years ago. Baking was in his blood and the king knew Robbing couldn’t resist participating in the competition.
So, Robbing disguised himself as a vegan because the vegan is always the underdog who proves himself in baking competitions.
The competition was fierce. Members of royalty who had not been restricted from eating certain foods were allowed to compete, making Robbing’s odds of winning very slim.
But still, Robbing continued to pull ahead of the competition, and Maid Sharean cheered for him all the way through.
The final round came, and it was close. Robbing was pitted against the mean old sheriff of the village himself.
The sheriff made a creative bread pudding.
Robbing made vegan ice cream over a vegan brownie.
And, of course, ICE CREAM WINS AGAINST BREAD PUDDING EVERY TIME.
Robbing had done it! He had won the competition! And King Porta-John was none the wiser. Maid Sharean was so happy, for she knew Robbing had planned to share his prize with the villagers before stealing it from them again. She gave Robbing a kiss and the two fell madly in love that very day.
Some time later, the mean old sheriff of the village came to collect the food tax (aka, steal all the food from the villagers that wasn’t broth or bread). The villagers were fed up (but not literally because they had no food).
The town friar, Friar Stuck (for he always got stuck in the most unfortunate of situations), became so upset with the sheriff that he began yelling and insulting him in front of the other villagers. The sheriff would not stand for this. He arrested the friar and sentenced him to hanging by licorice rope– the cruelest and most ironic of deaths for villagers not permitted to eat sweets.
Robbing knew he must save the friar, but also knew that the friar had been arrested because the sheriff and King Porta-John intended to trap him as well. Everyone knew Robbing would not be able to resist helping Friar Stuck.
Under the cover of night, Robbing Misunderstood and Whittle Ron sneaked into the castle and first began to steal food. An assembly line of villagers was waiting outside the walls of the kingdom to take the food back to the village. They fully intended to hide it so Robbing couldn’t steal it from them later.
But King Porta-John was a light sleeper.
Just as the last of the food was making its way out of the castle, the king awoke! And the friar still had not been rescued!
King Porta-John rushed out of his room, inadvertently knocking over a lamp (dun-dun-duuuuun).
He yelled for the guards to stop Robbing and Ron at once!
However, it was too late– Whittle Ron had reached Friar Stuck’s cell, rushed him across the courtyard, and helped him over the wall out of the kingdom. But wait… where was Robbing?!
Whittle Ron turned to see the entire castle engulfed in flames! No! Robbing was in there!
Ron yelled to the castle, “Robbing! Where are you?!”
And, from the topmost window of the fortress, Whittle Ron saw Robbing. He was poised to jump into the ocean which bordered part of the castle. It was the only way out.
As Robbing dove into the ocean, the villagers, Whittle Ron, and Maid Sharean could hardly watch. Surely, he would not survive such a long jump into such polluted waters.
Moments passed and no one was able to spot Robbing. Isn’t it ironic that the ocean which Robbing had tried to feed ended up swallowing him as well– wait a second–
There– In the distance! A cereal straw was poking out of the water! It was Robbing!
He was using the cereal straw to breathe underwater! The villagers rejoiced as Robbing made his way toward land.
Robbing ran to Maid Sharean and asked her that day to share in marriage with him and, of course, she accepted his proposal and they were married by the friar that very evening.
The next day, King Lizard had heard of the mess his kingdom was in and returned straight away. King Lizard explained he had been on an undercover mission– as a chameleon of sorts– to spy on the workings of other kingdoms and bring back ideas to better govern his own. But he vowed never again to leave his kingdom alone and returned all the food to the villagers, reopened all village eateries, and imported goods from all around the world for the villagers to eat.
Of course, misunderstandings still occurred in the village. For example, the night after Robbing Misunderstood and Whittle Ron had stolen the friar back and returned him to the village, they then stole him and made him preach to some animals, then to plants, and then threw him in the ocean. But the friar knew how to swim, so it was okay.
You see, misunderstandings are what make life lively.
And so, Robbing Misunderstood and Sharean, Whittle Ron and King Lizard, and even Friar Stuck and the villagers lived happily ever after.