A long time ago the town of Hamelin was faced with a great problem. It became full of rats. The rats were so big and fierce that they fought the dogs, killed the cats and bit the babies in the cradles. They ate up the corn in the granaries. They ran’ about shrieking and squeaking all the time.
At last, the people came to the Town Hall and said to the Mayor, “Do something about the rats or we will send you packing.” The Mayor trembled. He called a meeting of his councilors and talked about the problems for hours. But they could not find a way out. They were in despair. At that moment a tall thin stranger entered the Hall. His dress was made of pieces of cloth of different colors. He went up to the council tables and said “People call me the Pied Piper. If you pay me a thousand guilders, I will rid your town of rats.”
“All, right,” said the Mayor. “We’ll pay you a thousand guilders. When will you set to work?” “Now”, replied the Pied Piper.
The Pied Piper went to the street and took out a pipe from his pocket. Then he began to play on the pipe. Soon from every house in Hamelin came out the rats tumbling. There were hundreds of thousands of them. The man, still playing on his pipe, moved along the streets and the rats followed him. He went down to the bank of the river Weser and waded into the river. And every single rat that followed him, was drowned.