In the middle of a deep forest was a strange cottage. It was built in the crown of a tree, so few people could see it. It was the home of Carlos the robber. He was good. He was more likely to keep an eye on passers-by and only robbed those who had too much money, didn’t want to share and selfishly kept it for themselves. His hair was cut very short and he had a short beard on his face. He had a cute little scar near his eyebrows, and he charmed everyone with his beautiful big eyes. But he had one problem. He couldn’t hear out of one ear. Carlos liked to sit in his tree house and watch everything that went on in the forest from above. But one day he saw someone he’d never forget. It was an encounter that changed his life forever.
It was early in the morning. Carlos the robber was having his morning coffee when someone ran under his tree. The robber didn’t even have time to see who it was. He looked around, but only saw the small silhouette of a girl in the distance. The next day, the same thing happened. And the next. “Who’s running around in the woods?” the robber wondered aloud.
He wanted to find out, so the next day he didn’t wait in the tree, but stood at the end of the forest path where the girl always ran. As he stood there, he could see her approaching from a distance. She was slender, her long dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and she was smiling as she ran. She reached the end of the path, stopped, and then noticed the robber. He could have kept his eyes on her.
A little shy and with a smile, he introduced himself to her, “Hi, I’m Carlos. I’m the guardian of this forest. A good robber. I’m a good robber. I only take from the rich and selfish and give to the poor. I’ve been watching you run around the woods for a few days, so I waited here today so I could meet you.”
The girl gave him an embarrassed smile. “I’m Nikoleta. I am the daughter of our ruler in the city. I often come here to the forest to run. No one here knows me or sees me. I don’t have to dress like a lady here and I don’t have to be careful how I act. When I run, I only meet animals and they like me just the way I am. I didn’t know you also lived here.”
Carlos the robber wanted to get to know Nikoleta more, so they talked for a while. Then she suddenly got up, said she had to go, and ran off. He met her a few more times when she was running in the woods, but Nikoleta was afraid. She said that no one could see her as the daughter of a ruler, that she was talking to a robber.
A few months passed. Carlos hasn’t seen Nikoleta all this time. Until one morning, when he was still almost asleep, he heard something strange in that healthy ear. Someone was running through the woods. Sticks cracked, leaves rustled and branches bent. The robber looked and saw Nikoleta running fast through the forest. He was so glad to see her. But why was she running so fast? And then he saw it. Someone was running after her. Someone was chasing her. Carlos has to save her.
He jumped down from the tree, took her in his arms in an instant, and used the rope to climb up the tree with Nikoleta. “Wait here,” he told her, and jumped down again. He caught the man who was running after Nikoleta. He tied him up and left him lying on the path. Then he followed his runner back to the tree house. Nikoleta was so glad the robber saved her.
She explained to him that the man was a servant from one of their rulers and that he wanted to catch her and bring her back to the castle. But what he really wanted was to catch her and keep her hidden for a while. And then he would lead her to her daddy ruler that he had rescued her and found her and that he was the hero. Carlos the robber didn’t like that. He brought the bound servant to the castle and told all that had happened. Nikoleta confirmed it to him and praised robber Carlos very much in front of her father. The servant ended up in prison.
What about Nikoleta and Carlos the robber?
The ruler had to admit that even if one is not noble, one can be a good person. Like Carlos. And he also realised that his daughter was happier being plain and running around in the woods than having to act like a lady and do everything by the ruler’s rules. And so Nikoleta could run around in the woods and be friends with the robber. In the end, the noble girl and the robber with the scar, the sick ear and the pretty eyes became inseparable friends. And, depending on how they looked at each other, eventually more than just friends.