The legends are very specific: in the year 1284, the town of Hamelin, in the in Lower Saxony region of Germany, was overrun with rats. Hordes of rats. One day, a piper claiming to be a rat-catcher appeared in the town. A deal was soon struck: he would play his pipes and draw the rates away, the townspeople would pay him handsomely.
The piper led the rats into the nearby Weser river, where they drowned. But then the townsfolk reneged on their part of the deal. This was decision-making roughly on a par with saying “oh, what a lovely wooden horse, let’s drag it into the middle of Troy.”
The piper returned on the feast day of Saints John and Paul. He played once more, and this time, he enchanted the children of the town. 130 children followed him, leaving behind only one or two (accounts vary). Accounts also disagree over what happened to the children – some say he drowned them like the rats, some say they were safely returned after he was paid several times his original price. So it’s six to five and pick ’em whether the Pied Piper was a mass murderer, or merely a staunch advocate of contract law.
By Creator:Augustin von Moersperg – This image scanned from 『ハーメルンの笛吹き男』 ISBN 4-480-02272-4, that was published by Abe Kinya in 1988., Public Domain, Link
As mentioned in:
Pied Piper — Jethro Tull
Pied Piper — The Saw Doctors
Symphony of Destruction — Megadeth
People Call Me the Pied Piper — Donovan