What happens at the end of "Rip Van Winkle"?

At the end of “Rip Van Winkle,” the title character is living with his daughter, Judith. Now finally accepted by the villagers, he can go back to leading the kind of easy, laid-back life he led before he fell asleep for twenty years. Previously, no one believed his fantastical story. However, thanks to an old man called Peter Vanderdonk, Rip's tale can be verified, and so he is accepted by the people of his village.

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As once can imagine, many people in the village are understandably skeptical about Rip's story. The idea that someone could fall asleep for twenty years is simply too preposterous to believe. So after Rip wakes up from his lengthy slumber and proceeds to tell his tale, he becomes the object of suspicion and mistrust.

Yet by the time we come to the end of the story, we find that Rip is living a comfortable, contented life with his daughter, Judith, and her "stout, cheery farmer" of a husband. Rip is now in a position to pick up where he left off, living a life of slothful ease and idling at the village inn. Not only that, but he's now been accepted by the previously skeptical villagers.

So how did this all come about? Well, Rip's story is verified by an old man called Peter Vanderdonk, who is widely regarded as the most knowledgeable man in the village. He recollects Rip at once and is able to corroborate what appears to be his tall tale. Thanks to Peter's intervention, Rip is now able to live a contented life with his daughter, someone he last saw when she was only a child but who has since grown up into a fine young woman.

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