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How the heck did THE PIED PIPER become a famous story?!?!

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How the heck did THE PIED PIPER become a famous story?!?!

Old 06-10-05, 04:26 PM
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How the heck did THE PIED PIPER become a famous story?!?!

I just now read the original story, and boy! what a loser that story is in written form! All my life I grew up knowing the story - I guess through TV - and it was always a fun story, how the Pied Piper with his flute would mesmerize the rats and the children with his playing, and I thought he led the rats out of Hamelin.

Apparently not so!

The written story starts off well enough. The Piper blows into the town of Hamelin, which he soon discovers is overrun with Rats. The Piper goes to the local pub for a brew, and a rat is drinking out of his pint - so he turns to the bartender and asks how long they've had a problem with the rats.

Later in the story, the Piper goes to the Dump where the Rats essentially live, and asks them why they bother the people. The Rats talk, and explain that for 50 years the people have forced the Rats to live in the Dump, and that the Rats are trying to drive the People out of town so they could live as they did before the People arrived.

Fine. Decent enough premise. The Piper tries his best to reason with both the People and the Rats, but eventually the People are turned off by the Piper (whom they dub the Pied Piper without explanation), and before you know it...

...the author couldn't come up with an ending to his own story! How does the story end, you ask? Here's the last line of the story: So, what's the moral of this story? Just this. If a pied piper comes your way, follow him or her, even if it means leaving home.

Wow.

Last edited by Buttmunker; 06-13-05 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 06-10-05, 04:56 PM
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What did you read? The Grimm fairy tale? The Browning poem (not this I think)?
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Old 06-11-05, 09:38 AM
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Sounds like you read some goofy version of the story. That's not Browning's version, nor the Grimms'. But it's an old story with many different variations. You've got to be careful when reading stories that are in the public domain, and thus could be by anybody.
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Old 06-12-05, 08:14 AM
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I just found http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hameln.html, which has a whole collection of ratcatcher stories.

What you have to remember is that medieval peasants lived their whole lives at the edge of starvation. If one harvest failed, an entire village could die. Rats eating their grain was much more than a nuisance, it was a threat to their lives.

So I'd say that any version that treats the rats with any sympathy at all was written by a well-fed 20th century writer with delusions of political correctness.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 06-12-05 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 06-22-05, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Danger
I just found http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hameln.html, which has a whole collection of ratcatcher stories.

What you have to remember is that medieval peasants lived their whole lives at the edge of starvation. If one harvest failed, an entire village could die. Rats eating their grain was much more than a nuisance, it was a threat to their lives.

So I'd say that any version that treats the rats with any sympathy at all was written by a well-fed 20th century writer with delusions of political correctness.
Or by an actual rodent.*



* Samuel Beckett or Tom Wolfe
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