The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
by Washington Irving
This is the short story of a man named Ichabod Crane who sojourns to Sleepy Hollow to become a school teacher to children of the vicinity, falls in lust with the daughter of a Dutch farmer, daydreams about the future of winning sweet Katrina Van Tassel's hand in marriage, defeating his one and only love rival Brom Van Brunt... and then disappearing mysteriously one night after a ghastly encounter with Sleepy Hollow's most infamous legendary spirit.
Oh yes, there's a lot of food involved as well, but only descriptions. And then there's stuff to do with a scenic fall atmosphere, a gathering of some sort with ghost stories exchanged...
And then there might have been talk of a Headless Horseman.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is definitely all about the atmosphere and the idea of a haunting legend. Truthfully, I actually found it kind of long-winded, even if the prose was smooth and lovely in it's poetic nature.
I just didn't see why I needed to know the different displays of food, or the different types of birds present during Ichabod Crane's scenic route to his dinner party. Or about the three pages worth of Ichabod Crane's many, perfect, gentlemanly and devout qualities. Although, I must say that the description of Ichabod Crane's physical appearance was actually pretty darn good. The book I read from also gave some nice pictures to go with some of the story.
I didn't find this short story very scary, or very fascinating, for that matter. Maybe I found it kind of amusing, to be honest. But I can sort of see the appeal it has on many others as a great Halloween read.
On a side note, I found the postscript after the story kind of amusing and the most enjoyable part of my reading. Following is a quote taken from part of the postscript, the dialogue of the story-teller of our tale:
"There is no situation in life but has its advantages and pleasures--provided we will but take a joke as we find it;
"That, therefore, he that runs races with goblin troopers is likely to have rough riding of it.
"Ergo, for a country schoolmaster to be refused the hand of a Dutch heiress, is a certain step to high preferment in the state."