| Quote #4
Though many years have elapsed since I trod the drowsy shades of Sleepy Hollow, yet I question whether I should not still find the same trees and the same families vegetating in its sheltered bosom. (1.7)
Get it? Vegetating? Because the people are just like the nature around them? Irving is giving us some pretty important information—that is, that Sleepy Hollow never changes—but he always manages to keep it interesting.
| Quote #5
[…] and the blue-jay, that noisy coxcomb, in his gay light-blue coat and white underclothes; screaming and chattering, nodding and bobbing and bowing, and pretending to be on good terms with every songster of the grove. (1.37)
For a town where nothing happens, the animals sure seem to have busy social lives. At times they seem more human than the humans.
| Quote #6
He had, in fact, been a favorite steed of his master's, the choleric Van Ripper, who was a furious rider, and had infused, very probably, some of his own spirit into the animal; for, old and broken-down as he looked, there was more of the lurking devil in him than in any young filly in the country. (1.34)
Humans and nature are so connected that the animals get some of their owners' spirit. Kind of like Shmoop and our labradoodle. Van Ripper probably only grows sour apple trees and crab grass, too.