Have you ever wondered if the Pied Piper story is really true? Well I’ll tell you. Part of the story is definitely nottrue. One part that is not true is when the Pied Piper drowned the rats. That part is fiction because rats can swim, and they would’ve followed him back to the town. The part that may be true is the part about the 130 people that followed him out of town.
Some believe the story is about a man from another part of Germany who came to find workers. Hamelin was poor at the time, and 130 people left town and followed the man for a better life. This was in the late 13th century, and “children” may have meant “children of the town” or citizens. The earliest stories of the Pied Piper do not even include rats.
The fairy tale of the Pied Piper teaches children to not follow strangers and teaches adults to keep their promises.
There are a lot of rats and statues of the Pied Piper in Hamelin. (We even saw a Pied Piper.) There is a Bungelosenstrasse or “drum less” street where you cannot play music in remembrance of the people who followed the Pied Piper. There is a huge rat on top of the bridge welcoming you in and out of town. There are rats plaques on the pavement making a trail for you to follow. Sometimes you can have rat tails (thin slices of pork) and rat blood (alcoholic beverage that is red) for dinner.
Fun rat facts:
- Rats make laughter sounds when they play.
- A rat can go longer than a camel without water.
- Rats are very clean. They groom themselves for hours each day.
- Rats have good memories.
- A group of rats is called a mischief.
- Brown rats are found on every continent in the world except Antartica.
- A brown rat can have 2,000 babies a year.
New since our last post:
- Lucy’s commentary on big, bad wolves
- Done with Germany and moving on to the Netherlands: Favorite Photos and Virtual Souvenirs
- Nati’s German coke
THE PIED PIPER STORY
Once upon a time, there was a rat problem in Hamlin. A man with colorful clothes came and made a deal with the town that if he captured all the rats, then the town would pay him. The Pied Piper took out his recorder and started playing. After a while, all the rats came out and followed the Pied Piper. The Pied Piper walked until he came to the river Weser, and in that river, he drowned the rats. When the Piper returned to Hamelin, the people who lived there decided not to give him money.
After a few months, the Pied Piper returned, played his recorder, and this time 130 children followed him. They followed him into a cave. Two people came back: one was mute and the other was blind so they could not tell where the Pied Piper had taken the other children.