THE PIED PIPER
Once upon a time, people dreaded to live in Hamelin town of Germany because of Germany because of an unusual reason------rats. Rats made the life of the people hell.
Rats swarmed every place in the town---------on the roads, in the streets and every room of the houses. They were all huge and fearless.
The rats didn't hesitate even to attack cats and dogs. Children were not safe even in their beds. They roamed openly during day time and hid only at night. Women cooking food in the kitchen ran out when the rats attacked and they had belly food of food without disturbance.
Fed up, the people knocked at the door of the Mayor.
Mayor sent cries to every corner of the town inviting suggestions which would lead the town to get rid of the menace. He announced a reward too.
People thought and thought.
Huge traps, poison, employing an army, everything was discussed but nothing seemed to be workable.
Then one day as the council was holding an emergency session, the doors burst open. There stood a stranger in the doorway. A funny-looking man with colourful clothes. With a feather ion his cap, he looked like a clown. In one hand, he held a long pipe. He looked straight into the Mayor's eyes.
''I can solve the problem you are facing. I can rid Hamelin of all its rats if you are prepared to give me a reward for this work,'' he said very politely and waited for the members' reacyion.
''Demanded whatever you want and it is granted. If only Hamelin is saved from this plague,'' the members said in chorus. The Mayor promised him a thousand gold coins.
The piped bowed and left the room. As he came out on the street, he started playing his pipe. He played for a while and then stopped. And lo and behold! Rats from every nook and corner started assembling there and following the piper.
There were rats and rats wherever the eyes could see. They made a beeline behind the piper.
By the fall of the evening, the piper and the rats reached the bank of a river.
The piper waded through the river water, with music on. The rats too followed, not caring that they have being drowned, one by one, in the process. The Piper played on until the last of the rats was drowned.
The Pied Piper reached the Town Hall to collect his money. He was surprised when the Mayor held out a gold coin instead of the thousand he had promised.
The Pied Piper didn't utter a word. He rushed out of the room and climbed to the roof of the building. Everybody wondered what the stranger was up to. Then he came down on the streets and once again started playing his pipe. He played a few long, clear notes and then stopped.
The children, wherever they were, came to the place where the stranger was, without knowing where they were going or why. They just followed the Piper as the rats had done. They didn't listen even to the cries of their parents. While the parents shouted at them, they laughed and chattered and joined hundreds of other running behind the stranger.
The Piper walked and walked through the streets the lanes and the by-lanes. More and more children joined him. And suddenly he turned towards a big hill.
A corridor appeared in the middle of the hill. After the stranger and the children had marched past it, the corridor as well as the children disappeared.
Horrified parents ran to the Mayor. They requested him to keep his promise. The Mayor had no choice now. He went to the hill and called out, ''I am sorry, please come back. Please bring our children back,'' and in a few seconds, the Piper was back with all the children.