Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper was promised a reward if he would drive the rats and mice out of Hameln (Westphalia). This he did, for he gathered them together by his pipe, and then drowned them in the Weser. As the people refused to pay him, he next led the children to Koppelberg Hill, where 130 of them perished (July 22nd, 1376). (See Hatto.)

To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled ...
And ere three notes his pipe had uttered ...
Out of the houses rats came tumbling-
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats,
And step by step they followed him dancing,
Till they came to the river Weser.

Robert Browning.

Hameln, on the river Hamel, is where the Rattenfänger played this prank. It is said that the children did not perish in the mountain, but were led over it to Transylvania, where they formed a German colony.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Pied Piper of Hamelin from Fact Monster:

  • Pied Piper of Hamelin - Pied Piper of Hamelin Pied Piper of Hamelin, legendary figure of Hameln, Germany. He rid the town ...
  • Hameln - Hameln Hameln , Eng. Hamelin, city (1994 pop. 59,210), Lower Saxony, N central Germany, a port on ...
  • Robert Browning - Biography of Robert Browning, Victorian poet and husband of Elizabeth Barrett
  • The Pied Piper - Biography of The Pied Piper, Flute-playing charmer of German folk tales
  • Encyclopedia: Folklore and Mythology - Encyclopeadia articles concerning Folklore and Mythology.

Related Content