It was a sunny day in October 1579 when I first met Will, just outside Stratford, near a big field of apple trees. I saw a boy up in one of the trees. He had red hair and looked about two years older than me. ‘What are you doing up there?’ I called. ‘Just getting a few apples,’ he said, smiling. ‘Those are Farmer Nash’s apples,’ I said, ‘and he’ll send his dogs after you if he sees you.’ ‘Mr Nash has gone to market,’ the boy said. ‘Come on! They’re good apples.’ The next minute I was up the tree with him. But Will was wrong. Farmer Nash wasn’t at the market, and a few minutes later we saw his angry red face above the wall on the far side of the field. Will and I ran like the wind and only stopped when we reached the river. We sat down to eat our apples.