Pied Piper of Hamelin, legendary figure of Hameln, Germany. He rid the town of its rats and mice by charming them away with his flute playing. When the citizens refused to pay him the price they had agreed upon, he charmed away their children out of revenge. Allegedly this occurred in 1284. Among those who immortalized this legend are Goethe, Robert Browning, and the brothers Grimm.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.