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America’s Hallowe’en Carol: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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Hallowe’en is defined for me by Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. This classic tale was depicted by Walt Disney in 1949’s ‘The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad,’ an animated film that also featured a telling of ‘The Wind In The Willows.’

The story’s proper title is ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ and, along with ‘Rip Van Winkle,’ it was one of the first American classics, written by Washington Irving.

I still skip past the Mr. Toad section and get straight to the story of the scrawny schoolmaster who is spirited away by the headless ghost of a Hessian mercenary, or was it by a romantic rival playing an elaborate prank? You decide.

While the Disney cartoon is great viewing, I always take the time to read the original text every October. The Gutenburg organization has made hundreds of royalty-free books available to read online. So cozy up with a blanket, some leftover Hallowe’en candy, and read the original ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ here.

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