Halloween 2020 – 2 in a series – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (1897)

Halloween 2020 - 2 in a series - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (1897)

IN the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expan- sion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappaan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given it, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely ad- vert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, per- haps about three miles, there is a little val- ley or rather lap of land among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail, or tapping of a woodpecker, is al- most the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity. I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades one side of the valley. I had wandered into it at noon-time when all nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun, as it broke the sabbath stillness around, and was prolonged and reveberated by the angry echoes.

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