The Pied Piper Story: A German Folktale
Pied Piper Story | Podcast
Once upon a time, there used to be a town named Hamelin in Germany. Although everyone was very happy in that town, for some time the number of rats there had been increasing rapidly.
People could not understand any way to get rid of those rats. The people of Hamelin spread rat traps everywhere but to no avail, and the population of rats continued to grow. The people of Hamelin town called a meeting and asked some intelligent people about the problem of an increasing population of rats and its solution.
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It was unanimously concluded in that meeting that to get rid of the rats, they should adopt a cat. Cats were brought from outside the town, but it did not affect the population of rats, although their population started increasing faster than before.
The fear of the rats troubled the people of Hamelin because, in addition to destroying their expensive possessions and food grains, the rats also started destroying their clothes and the foundation of their homes.
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The people of the town called a meeting, in which everyone together decided that now they should leave that town and go somewhere else. That’s why the mayor of that town suggested that once we get a fixed term in the nearby cities, maybe some person will help us in our greed for reward.
Everyone liked the mayor’s suggestion, and the very next day, it was announced by the beating of drums in the surrounding cities that whoever drives the rats out of Hamelin will be given 10 bags of gold coins.
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From the second day, there was an influx of people to drive away the rats in Hamelin; many people came to run away from the rats, but no one had success.
A few days passed like this, and despair started spreading among the people of Hamelin.
Hamlin’s Pied Piper has arrived.
One day a strange man came to Hamelin from far away; his clothes were very colourful and strange; he wore a hat with a feather on it; and he had a strange instrument in his hand. The people of Hamlin were staring at that person and talking about different things among themselves.
That’s why that person started playing strange music. The entire town had gathered to listen to his tune.The mayor of that town asked, “What does he do?” and “How would he drive away the rats?” The Pied Piper smiles after listening to him and says that tomorrow he will show how he will drive away the rats. No one believes the Pied Piper’s claim that he can drive rats away.
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On that day, Pied Piper inspects the area around that town thoroughly and reaches the main square of the town the next morning. The Pied Piper takes out his strange instrument and starts playing a strange tune.
All the people of the town gather at the square to see the Pied Piper. Everyone is surprised to see that rats have started gathering there from every corner of the town. Now the Pied Piper plays his instrument and walks slowly forward. He starts growing, and all the rats start following him. The entire town began following Pied Piper, who was playing strange music, with curiosity, wanting to know what Pied Piper was going to do with those rats.
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While walking, the Pied Piper reaches the river flowing outside the town and slowly descends into the river’s water. All the rats do not follow the Pied Piper; some of them die by drowning, and the rest flow away with the water.
Seeing this, a wave of happiness runs among the people of the town, and they all start singing and dancing with happiness. Everyone gets to the centre of town by carrying the Pied Piper on their shoulders. When the mayor of the town finds out, he rushes to Pied Piper.
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Seeing the mayor, the Pied Piper asks for 10 bags of gold coins to be given as a reward. Because the mayor was a liar, he decided that now that the rats were dead, he would not give the Pied Piper the reward money. As a result, he refuses to give money to the Pied Piper.
Pied Piper doesn’t say anything after listening to the mayor and silently leaves from there. The people of the town don’t like this action of the mayor, but he didn’t say anything.
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A few days pass like this, and one day the Pied Piper comes back to the town, and this time he starts playing an even weirder tune than before. After hearing the Pied Piper’s tune, all the children in town begin to follow him. After walking for some time, they reach a hill. The Pied Piper locks all the children in a cave and closes the mouth of the cave with a big stone.
When the children do not reach home for a long time, their parents get upset and go out to find them. A day passes like this, and nothing is known about the children. The next day, the Pied Piper sends a message to the mayor’s house, saying that all the children of the town are with him, and if he wants to get them back, then give him 20 bags of gold coins; otherwise, he will drown those children in the river like rats.
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As soon as the parents of the children come to know about this, they gather outside the mayor’s house and start abusing the mayor.
The mayor also now realises his mistake and, along with giving 20 bags of gold coins to the Pied Piper, also apologises for his actions.
Lessons from the Pied Piper Story
One of the main lessons from this story is the importance of keeping one’s promises and honouring one’s word. The town of Hamelin broke its promise to the piper, and as a result, it suffered a terrible loss. This serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of not following through on agreements and contracts.
Another lesson from the story is the power of music and the influence it can have on people. The piper’s music is so captivating that it is able to charm the rats and the children of the town, leading them to follow him wherever he goes. This shows the influence that music and art can have on people’s emotions and behavior.
Finally, the story can also be interpreted as a warning about the dangers of greed and selfishness. The town of Hamelin was willing to break its promise to the piper in order to keep its money, and this act of greed ultimately led to the loss of its children. This shows that greed and selfishness can have far-reaching consequences and ultimately lead to tragedy.
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