Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Day of Pipers and Promises

Today is Pied Piper of Hamelin Day.

To read the story in poetry, look here. Be aware it is not a mere ditty -- over 300 lines. The poem gives us a hint why this is the day to remember the piper by telling us the day the children of Hamelin were last seen was "Twenty-second of July, Thirteen hundred and seventy-six"

If poetry is not your favorite way to read a story, try this prose version. At the end of the story, this version has a discussion of the Brothers Grimm relating this fable based on a true event in 1284. The piper's tale is illustrated in a stained glass window dated around 1300.

In both accounts, the township promised to pay the piper to rid the town of rats. Then when the town renigs on the deal, the piper rids the town of all of the children except one disabled boy who could not keep up. He was able to tell the townspeople what happened to his playmates.

Besides the Pied Piper Day, July 22 is also known as Ratcatcher's Day.
We might not know the year exactly, but this is the day to remember the moral --
If we've promised them aught, let us keep our promise!
On this day, we should remember to keep promises.

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