The Pied Piper of Hamelin  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
pied piper

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a legend about the abduction of many children from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Germany. Famous versions of the legend are given by the Brothers Grimm and, in English, by Robert Browning.

It tells of an unusual disaster that occurred in the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Germany, 26 June, 1284. The town of Hamelin was suffering from a rat infestation. One day, a man claiming to be a rat-catcher approached the villagers with a solution. They promised to pay him for the removal of the rats. The man accepted and thus took a pipe and lured the rats with a song into the Weser river, where all of them drowned.

Despite his success, the people reneged on their promise and refused to pay the rat-catcher. The man left the town angrily, but returned some time later, on June 26th, seeking revenge.

While the inhabitants were in church, he played his pipe again, this time attracting the children of Hamelin. One hundred and thirty boys and girls followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and never seen again. Depending on the version, at most two children remained behind (one of whom was lame and could not follow quickly enough) who informed the villagers what had happened when they came out of the church.

Other versions (but not the traditional ones) claim that the Piper returned the children after the villagers paid several times the original amount of gold.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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