Friday, October 18, 2013

Ichabod in the Trees

 “It was the very witching time of night that Ichabod, heavy-hearted and crest-fallen, pursued his travel homewards, along the sides of the lofty hills which rise above Tarry Town, and which he had traversed so cheerily in the afternoon.”  
-Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Colton was always my sleepy hollow.
 “Gather ‘round and I’ll elucidate, what goes on outside when it’s late.  Along about midnight the ghosts and banshees, they get together for their nightly jamboree.  
–Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Driving through the trees on those old logging roads in the middle of the night to clear my head.
 “There’s things with horns and saucer eyes.  Some with fangs about this size.  Some are fat and some are thing, and some don’t even wear their skin.”  –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Stopping along the winding paths of Mil Creek to listen.  Hawk in the pines.  Raccoon in the brush.  Water rushing over stones and away.
 “I’m telling you, brother, it’s a frightful sight to see what goes on Halloween night.”  –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Farms in the distance along the rolling hills.  Owls in the barn.  Sky full of stars laying glances through autumn leaves.
 “The ghosts are bad but the one that’s cursed is the headless horseman, he’s the worst.  That’s right, he’s a fright on Halloween night.”   –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

These are the moments of my first freedom.  Pulling the car over to the side of the road.  Stepping out into the darkness to listen.  Lost in the night's eyes.
 
“When he goes a joggin’ across the land.  Holding his noggin in his hand.  Demons take one look and groan and they hit the road to parts unknown.  Beware, take care, he rides alone.”   –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

I think about you, Ichabod.  Coming home that night.  Shivering.  Afraid.  Shadows from nightmares creeping up your spine.
 “He likes ‘em little.  He like ‘em big.  Parted in the middle or a wig.  Black or white or even red.  The headless horseman needs a head.”  –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

How I've been there too.  Through the hollow forest at night.  Listening to the dark.
 “He’s out looking for a top to chop.  So don’t stop to figure out a plan.  You can’t reason with a headless man.”  –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

The thing about Ichabod was, it was all in his head.
 “They say he’s tired of his flaming top.  He’s got a yen to make a swap.  So he rides one night each year to find a head in the hollow here.”  –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

He had to get out of his own way.
 “With a hip, hip and a clippity clop.  He’s out looking for a top to chop.  So don’t stop to figure out a plan.  You can’t reason with a headless man.”   –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

No one knows when they are their own worst enemy.
 “For once you’ve crossed that bridge, my friend.  The ghost is through, his power ends.”   –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Driving home again, I feel it now.  Tingling on the back of my neck.  That old sleepy hollow of my youth.
“So when you’re ridin’ home tonight, make for the bridge with all your might.  He’ll be down in the hollow there.  He needs your head.  Look out!  Beware!”   –Disney, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

I let it linger.  Close my eyes to remember the rush.  But not for too long.  I know that flaming pumpkin is heading straight toward me.

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