Interesting facts about “The pied piper of Hamelin”

Bedtime stories galore across the world. It is quite common that the young kids are told many fairy tales in their childhood by the elderly people, mostly the grannies, and even mothers, with a primary intention of creating some interest to the children to follow some noble virtues and also for the sake of fun. Most bedtime stories are told to make the child sleep or to make them feel happy.

While many stories are mere fantasies just said to inculcate some good habits among the children, some of the stories do have some reference to the past and are not mere fantasies and do have some historical background, claim the historians and archeologists, having uncovered some startling facts.

One such story, which is very popular among the kids, is that of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The story, as told to the children, is something as follows.

There existed in the city of Hamelin a situation where each and every house has a number of rats. The residents had a tough time dealing with innumerable rats running around all places of the house and around all houses across the city. People were worried how to get rid of those rats. Then came a person, with colored clothes and a pipe in his hand. Seeing the plight of the people, the pied piper promised to cure the problem. He took the pipe, and played a tune that literally mesmerized the rats and made them follow the piper. The piper, intelligently, kept of playing the music and made the rats follow him wherever he goes. He led the rats to the top of the mountain and stood at the corner of the mountain, while continuing to play the music. The rats, mesmerized by the music, followed him, and eventually fell from the top of the mountain to the river flowing beneath and died. Thus, the pied piper eventually saved the people of Hamelin from the menace of the rats.

In reality, there did exist a Pied Piper in Hamelin. But, what he did is not killed the rats by drowning them in the river. In reality, the Pied Piper took away around 100 children from the city as an act of vengeance. It was not a happy event for the citizens of Hamelin but a sorrow one as their children were driven away by the Pied Piper.

An inscription found in the stained-glass window at a church in the German town of Hamelin has evidence to this traumatic event, according to archeologists and historians.

The inscription read thus: “In the year 1284, on the day of John and Paul, it was the 26th of June, came a colorful piper to Hamelin and led 130 children away.”

Historians feel that the story of Pied Piper of Hamelin driving away the rats might be a folk memory of the traumatic incident.