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THE LEGEND OF NEW AMSTERDAM by Peter Spier

THE LEGEND OF NEW AMSTERDAM

by Peter Spier

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1979
ISBN: 0385131798
Publisher: Doubleday

A quick, sketchy tour of old New Amsterdam that leads, on page ten, to "the one thing. . . that was more fun than anything else, and that was teasing Crazie Annie." Then we hear, for the next ten pages, about how the children tormented this "frightening"-looking, shuffling, mumbling, "perfectly harmless" old woman (despite the admonitions of their elders) and how she most amused them: by pointing upward and crying out "People and stone. . . believe me. Just look! PEOPLE AND STONE!" From her burial we shift to the growth of New York into a colossus of people and stone, posing the question of whether "poor old Annetje" was indeed mad. The real puzzler is why anyone thought it desirable to revive this ancient instance of childish cruelty to arrive at that trivial jest.