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Pied Piper of Hamelin

Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The Pied Piper is a subject of legend from the town of Hamelin in Germany during the Middle Ages. While his exact origins are unknown, he is in fact revealed to be a demon or demonic entity tasked with luring bringing misery and disaster among a town that is riddled with poverty and tricking the townspeople into believing that he is their ray of hope by ridding their lands of the disease. In exchange, he asks for their riches, unbeknownst to them being their souls, but when they are unable to, he instead takes the children of the town.

In 1284, while the town of Hamelin was suffering from a rat infestation, a piper dressed in colorful red clothing appeared, claiming to be a rat-catcher. He promised the mayor a solution to their problem with the rats. The mayor in turn promised to pay him for the removal of the rats. The money was a thousand guilders. The piper accepted and played his pipe to lure the rats into the Weser River, where all but one drowned.

Despite the piper's success, the mayor reneged on his promise and refused to pay him the full sum (reputedly reduced to a sum of 50 guilders) even going so far as to hint that he brought the rats himself in an extortion attempt. The piper left the town angrily, vowing to return later to take revenge. On Saint John and Paul's day while the Hamelinites were in church, the piper returned dressed in green like a hunter playing his pipe.

In so doing, he attracted the town's children. One hundred and thirty children followed him out of town and into a cave and never seen again. Depending on the version, at most three children remained behind: One was lame and could not follow quickly enough, the second was deaf and therefore could not hear the music, and the last was blind and unable to see where he was going. These three informed the villagers of what had happened when they came out from church.

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