THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
As with Rip Van Winkle, I had seen movies and cartoons of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Recently I read it. Once again, the dictionary and Internet helped me understand some words and references.
The Headless Horseman was a Hessian who had his head shot off by a cannonball. A Hessian was a German soldier hired by the British to help to suppress the American revolutionaries. Apparently the British could not recruit enough of their own soldiers to send to the uprising in America. This I learned after looking up the word Hessian mentioned in the story.
I knew, from paying attention in history class, that because of their hatred for the British, the French supplied weapons to the American revolutionaries.
Germans assisting the British to fight the Americans, and the French assisting the Americans to fight the British. Proxy wars have always been around.
What has not always been around is the current attitude towards corporal punishment.
Washington Irving writes that Ichabod Crane was not a cruel person who enjoyed beating his students. Crane was fair and would discipline students when necessary.
It you were reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to children today, then you would have to explain, “At one time it was okay for a teacher to beat a student with a stick.”
Reading the passage about Ichabod Crane disciplining his students made me think about how my parents used to spank me. I don’t think their spankings affected me, but occasionally I wish my parents were still alive so I could kill them.
I enjoyed reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.