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In "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving, Ichabod Crane is the local schoomaster:
truth to say, he was a conscientious man, and ever bore in mind the golden maxim, 'Spare the rod and spoil the child.'--Ichabod Crane's scholars certainly were not spoiled.
When school hours were over, he spent time with his students and was boarded in the homes of some of his students. To earn money, he helps the farmers in the "lighter labors" of their farms; he works during hay season, mends fences, waters the horses, drives the cows from the pasture, and cuts wood for the winter fire--all tasks that an older boy can do. Sometimes Ichabod would even babysit, holding a child on his knee or rock a cradle with his foot for hours. In addition to these small tasks, he is the "singing-master" of the neighborhood, and earns many shillings by teaching the young people in "psalmody." As the narrator humorously remarks, Ichabod Crane gets by
in that ingenious way which is commonly denominated 'by hook and by crook.'
As a respected member of the community, the schoolmaster is also able to ingratiate himself with the "country damsels" as he gathered with them in the churchyard on Sundays, gathers grapes with them, and recites for them the epitaphs on the tombstones. Because he spends so much time with different people, Ichabod is known as a "traveling gazette," who passes on gossip and news. With the old Dutch wives, Ichabod spends long hours exchanging tales for Cotton Mather's History of New England Witchcraft. The old wives, in turn, pass on their own tales.
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