Pied Piper Ch 2 - The Reading Room

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Pied Piper Ch 2

Books to Read > Pied Piper
Pied Piper
Chapter 2

The other Mayor did not know how it had happened, but as soon as the Pied Piper began to play his strange instrument, the rats poured out of houses, off rooftops, out of gutters, and even out of kitchens with bits of cheese on the floor! They followed him, dancing along to his tune, out of town and were never seen again. The Piper came back the next day for his bag of brass coins and went away with a handshake and a smile.

So, to Mayor Mauldin, the problem seemed to be solved. Except for the fact that he did not, in actual fact, have any brass coins he could see nothing wrong with the plan. Oh, well, more about that later!

Mayor Mauldin contacted the Pied Piper as soon as he could and invited him into Hamelin to do what he had done in the other village. Sure enough, two days later there he was. Indeed, he was a strange looking little fellow. He had flowing gray hair, a gray beard, and a pointy little chin and ears. He looked like nothing the townspeople of Hamelin had ever seen before, I can tell you. He carried a very strange instrument that looked like a clarinet, a flute, and a recorder all rolled into one. When he played it for the Mayor, it sounded like a funny little high-pitched whistle.

I will say to you my dears that even the little bit he played in the Mayor’s office brought the desired result. Three rats poked their noses out of the desk drawer and perked up their little ears and Mayor Mauldin was sold right then and there.

“A bag of brass coins?” asked Mayor Mauldin knowing full well that he did not really have a bag of brass coins but desperately needing to get rid of the rats so he would not loose his job. “Agreed,” said the Piper. “A bag of brass coins it is!” They shook hands on the deal and the Mayor gave the Piper a slap on the back and a big Mayor type grin.

The Pied Piper tapped his instrument on his hand and put it to his lips. The town’s people had been looking in the window of the Mayor’s office and as he raised the pipe, they held their breath as waited excitedly. He tooted a few practice toots, looked out at the people, and began to play.

It was a sort of dance tune with a lively rhythm that made you want to tap your feet and snap your fingers. He gave a little hop, skip kind of step and out the door he went. He started down the street playing his pipe and dancing his little dance and sure enough, out came the rats.
Rats of every size, shape and color came racing out of places you have never imagined a rat could hide. There must have been a million of them! All heard the call of the Pied Piper and all followed him up and down the streets of Hamelin: side streets, alleys, lanes, avenues, and roads-he didn’t miss a single spot in the whole town. And on the rats came. In the end, as he approached the town gate, it looked like a giant parade of rats with the Pied Piper in the lead.

As he danced out of the gate, with the rats trailing behind, the people of the town lagged along to see what was going to happen next. Over the countryside he went until he came to a very large hillock not too far from the town. As he approached, a great cave opened in the rocky bottom at its base. The Piper danced into it with all of the rats following along behind and lo and behold, the cave closed behind them all!

Well, that is the end of that they all thought. As they walked back to town they talked about what had happened and how it almost seemed to never have happened because the whole thing was so strange. But something even more strange was yet to come. As they approached town, what should they see but the Pied Piper standing at the gate.
“Well, that is a job well done, and the worker now deserves his pay,” he said.

Oh, Dear! Mayor Mauldin was in a bit of a jam. He did not have a bag of brass coins and really, and, as you will remember, he had never had a bag of brass coins at all. He had said that because it seemed the only way out at the time. “My, my, perhaps you could come back next week and I will have your brass coins for you. I don’t remember where I put them right now because of all the fuss and bother with the rats, you know, ” he said. Again, he was taking what he thought was the easy way out. But the Pied Piper was having none of it.

“All now because I have kept my end of the bargain. Pay what you owe me now or pay the consequences,” said he in a very angry voice. “Nonsense,” said the Mayor. “ What can a little fellow like you do to us. The rats are gone. They followed you into the cave in the hillside and they will never come back.”

“I warn you. There are some things of much more value than brass coins. This is your last chance,” said the Piper in a low and dangerous sounding voice. The mayor only laughed. The townspeople laughed too. The rats were gone and now they could go back to life as usual-right?

Well, as you may know or remember, that is not the way things happened. The Piper looked at Mayor Mauldin sadly and began to play a different tune. It seemed jolly and lively but it also had something about it that made the townspeople want to cover their ears. Strangely enough though, just like some rock music today, the children loved it. The young people of the town came out of their houses dancing and laughing.

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