Modern-day pied piper needed to lure rats from Hamelin

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Melbourne, Nov 20 : The town of Hamelin is once again looking for a pied piper, after 700 years, to lure away the rats infesting its town.

The story of the 'Pied Piper of Hamelin' had originated centuries ago, and it is a fairy tale based on a mystery piper who got rid of the north German town's rats by playing on his pipe.

Now, a modern-day piper is being sought to lure the rats away from the town, as its officials have reported an "explosion" in the rat population, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The cause of the increase in rat population has been attributed to a makeshift rubbish dump on the town's fringes, which has been said to be a "takeaway" food centre for the rats.

The rat invasion has become a real threat to the ongoing preparations for the town's 725th anniversary celebrations, and according to Thomas Wahmes, a town spokesman, the land has become a "real refuge" for the unwanted rodents.

In the fairy tale, which became a famous legend, a deal was stuck with a colourful or "pied" rat catcher to lure the rats out of town in 1284 by playing his pipe.

But after his work was done townspeople refused to pay him, and so he lured away the children from Hamelin, on St John's Day while the inhabitants were in church.

According to the story one hundred and thirty boys and girls followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and disappeared, never to be seen again.

Although extensive research has been conducted no explanation for the event or whether it happened has been given.

The story has many versions and the most famous of versions had been written by the Brothers Grimm and Robert Browning.

ANI

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