Could you please give me the summary of "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    Rip is a hen-pecked husband who takes a walk in the woods and falls asleep--for a very long time--in Washington Irving's early American short story, "Rip van Winkle." Set in New York's Catskill Mountains around 1770, Rip is a popular fellow in the village but a terrible farmer. His wife nags him constantly, especially about his lazy streak, so to avoid her complaining, he takes a long walk in the woods overlooking the Hudson River. Suddenly, he hears a voice calling his name. It comes from a tiny little fellow carrying a keg of liquor who leads Rip to a group of men playing ninepins. Rip samples the elixir from the keg and falls asleep.
    When he awakes, he finds a rusty old gun where his own had been. His dog, Wolf, is missing. As he returns home, he fails to recognize any of the passing villagers. The buildings appear different, and his house is now in shambles. He discovers his beard is now much longer. His confusion is evident to others, and he becomes the center of attention. When at last he recognizes a woman's name that is the same as his own, she tells a tale about her father, who disappeared in the mountains 20 years before. Rip discovers that it is his grown daughter, and he realizes that he has just returned from a 20 year sleep.