The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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Though stories of spirits and hauntings and visits from ancestors of old are abundant in Sleepy Hollow, tiny neighbor to Tarry Town, nestled quietly in New York, the one most talked about is the Headless Horseman.

Legend claims he was a Hessian trooper, whose head was removed in a battle of the Revolutionary War, and the tale is told that he rides out nightly, in search of his head. Officially, he is known as The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.

Some blame the influence of the witching air that pervades Sleepy Hollow, some blame the story tellers, and some just blame the Headless Horseman himself.

We then learn about Ichabod Crane, resident of Sleepy Hollow, and teacher to the children of the residents. Described as tall, but lank, with a flat head, large ears, and green eyes that looked like glass, Ichabod does not a pleasant picture paint. The baggy clothes that made his attire only leant to the impression of a wandering scarecrow. Even more bewildering is the idea that Ichabod took up residence with the families of the students he taught, moving along to the next house a week at a time.

It seems that Ichabod’s real troubles started with the meeting of a particular woman; Katrina Van Tassel, the only daughter of a successful Dutch farmer. Ichabod took an instant liking to her when he saw her; and that liking increased exponentially when he saw her father’s farm, a farm that Katrina’s husband was sure to inherit. The only competition he seemed to have for her affections were from Brom Bones.

Brom began to torment Ichabod with practical jokes, unwilling to give himself a bad name by beating the lad up, though he could do it easily enough. Ichabod was good enough to avoid him as well to avoid having this happen.

Having been invited to the Van Tassel’s for the evening, Ichabod was more than willing to let school out early, to the excitement of his pupils. Ichabod goes on horseback to the Van Tassel farm, enjoying the beauty of Autumn in Sleepy Hollow (Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year and I could read these descriptive paragraphs in this story over and over again!)

Something certainly happened between Ichabod and Katrina that night, but what it was for sure, no one seems to know. He left the farm dejected and dismayed, upset over the idea of not taking over such a beautiful estate.

Riding back home, downtrodden and defeated, suddenly all the ghost stories that were told that night that he gave no attention to came crowding into his mind, leaving no room for any other thoughts.

With a mind of its own, as Ichabod became more scared, Gunsmoke, the horse he rode, seemed to be scared himself, and took Ichabod in a direction completely different from what he had intended. In the shadows appeared a form, huge and towering, not moving; just there. The apparition moved into the road, but came no closer. Ichabod moved away, but no matter the speed or direction he took, he was shadowed by this thing. Moving into the moonlight enough, he finally showed himself to be headless.

The last thing we hear of Ichabod is that the Headless Horseman threw his head at him, hitting him in the cranium and knocking him to the ground.

The horse returned home, sans rider. The saddle was found with a shattered pumpkin next to it, but never again was Ichabod Crane seen.

There were tales of course, that Ichabod was still alive, but chose to leave the town, both from embarrassment and disappointment of not winning Katrina’s heart. Brom married her; and always had a hearty laugh when the story of Ichabod was told, making some wonder if he knew more about it than he ever let on.

On The Schedule For This Weeks Reading…

Is “The Quest” by Nelson DeMille. I picked this up at a store that was going out of business, and didn’t really plan on reading another religious themed book so soon after reading “Killing Jesus“.

This story is part thriller, part love story, according to the book jacket. The first thing I read that had me buying this book: She let them both know, “We are not leaving Ethiopia. We came here to find the Holy Grail, and we will not run away now.”

Mercado pointed out, “We are now hunted fugitives. We have just committed murder.”

Purcell corrected him. “I engaged a hostile aircraft.”

“Call it what you will, old boy, if it makes you feel better as they put the noose around your neck.”

He said to Vivian, “We need to get out of here.”

“We will. When we finish what we came here to do.” (DeMille, N. The Quest. Sept 2013).

 

"The Quest" by Nelson DeMille
“The Quest” by Nelson DeMille

So I’m all about the thriller side of the story, and hope the romance side of it adds to the story instead of being a distraction. I have read other books concerning the Holy Grail, and I find it an interesting subject as so many people from so many nations have been looking for this religious artifact for centuries.

So hopefully I can start on this book tonight, and I will have it read by Saturday 🙂

What are you reading this week that is keeping you from getting sleep and accomplishing your chores?