Is the Headless Horseman of Tarrytown in Cahoots with the Sleepy Hollow Gnomes?

photo (2)Walking in the woods near Tarrytown, New York, I saw a half-dead tree that appeared to be hit by lightening. The strike left a deep invagination that ran all the way up the trunk and penetrated into the heartwood, yet the tree was still alive. What caught my attention was deep inside the tree, something that resembled a small door. See the fungi growing out of the doorframe? It is just beginning to fade.

In the early Nineteenth Century, Washington Irving first reported on the bizarre and otherworldly happenings that occurred in the environs of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow; so I was forewarned and suspicious. To take this picture I had to lean inside the tree and worry about spiders jumping into my hair. I showed the picture to my four felines when I returned home and they told me, “You’ve taken a picture of a door to a lower kingdom, specifically a gnome kingdom. You’re lucky you got out alive.” Felines are sworn enemies of gnomes. In Germanic folklore, gnomes carry darts with them so they can injure humans. That sudden twinge you feel in your neck, you probably were hit by a gnome dart.

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

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