The Pied Piper of Hamelin

14
 min
5
+
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In this German folktale, you meet a mysterious piper who comes to rid the town of Hamelin from the rats that are plaguing it. But what happens when the mayor doesn’t pay him for this service as he had agreed to do? Well, it isn’t pretty. Though, in a very unexpected way, all comes good in the end.

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Rats have settled in the town of Hamelin. No one knows where they came from, but they’ve managed to do a lot of damage in a short space of time. They infested the drinking water in the town wells and ate up all the grain supplies. They also infiltrated the warehouses where the food was stored, and invaded people’s houses.

The inhabitants of this once flourishing town had nothing to eat nor water to drink any more, and when news of the rats spread to other parts of the country, no one wanted to visit Hamelin because they were worried that the rats would creep into their carriage and go home with them. Travellers, sellers and buyers — they all stopped coming. The locals were desperate. Disease, misery, and hopelessness permeated Hamelin.

The mayor of Hamelin, who used to be well-respected, simply did not know how to deal with the rats. The townspeople had been coming to see him every day. From the beginning, they begged him to rescue them from these rodents. Then they threatened him. And today, they gathered in front of the Town Hall, angrily waving sticks under the windows of his office.

The mayor stepped back from the window, sighed, and leaned his forehead against the wall in despair. As he did so, a rat ran under his feet. What on earth is he supposed to do about this enormous problem?

His secretary’s voice called from the other side of the door: “Mr Mayor, someone wants to see you. He’s not from here but he says he can solve the problem.”

The mayor was startled to hear of the arrival of this mysterious helper from out-of-the-blue. But he quickly came to his senses, collected the last remnants of his…

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