The town of Hamelin is filled with rats! There are rats in the cupboards, rats in the marketplace, rats in the doghouses, even rats in the pots and pans. The rats are eating all the food, chewing through the houses, and chasing away the cats. The people of Hamelin don’t know what to do! Then a mysterious stranger comes to town and promises to kick out the rats for good. Can the townspeople trust this oddly dressed man? And is getting rid of the rats worth the price?
I. Hamelin Town’s in Brunswick, By famous Hanover city; The river Weser, deep and wide, Washes its wall on the southern side; A pleasanter spot you never spied; But, when begins my ditty, Almost five hundred years ago, To see the townsfolk suffer so From vermin, was a pity. II. Rats! They fought the dogs and killed the cats, And bit the babies in the cradles, And ate the cheeses out of the vats. And licked the soup from the cook’s own ladles, Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women’s chats, By drowning their speaking With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats. III. At last the people in a body To the Town Hall came flocking: “Tis clear,” cried they, “our Mayor’s a noddy; And as for our Corporation—shocking To think we buy gowns lined with ermine For dolts that can’t or won’t determine What’s best to rid us of our vermin! You hope, because you’re old and obese, To find in the furry civic robe ease? Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking To find the remedy we’re lacking, Or, sure as fate, we’ll send you packing!” At this the Mayor and Corporation Quaked with a mighty consternation.