October 1, 2010

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving, 1820
Ichabod Crane has
a deadly encounter with
The Headless Horseman

Told solely from the point of the narrator, it is sans dialogue. It’s a great little short story; Ichabod and his rivalry with Brom Bones, the local playboy, over Katrina Van Tassel, a plump little hood rat. I’ve heard this story so many times, but I still wonder what happened to Ichabod. Did he really leave town, or did Brom Bones do him in? I can’t imagine Brom feeling threatened by a poor, scrawny teacher.

One of the best things about the story is the constant description of food. Ichabod sees everything for its potential to feed him. As he passes the buckwheat fields it says, “…soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty slap-jacks, well-buttered, and garnished with honey or treacle, by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel.” However wonderful, the story version isn’t quite complete without Bing’s crooning. (PG)

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