The Pied Piper of Hameln

Rest Day Read (SR-28)
The Pied Piper of Hameln versions collected by D.L. Ashliman
“In the year 1284 after the birth of Christ
From Hameln were led away
One hundred thirty children, born at this place
Led away by a piper into a mountain. “

We all know the fairy tale of the Pied Piper, don’t we? I thought I did, that is for sure. But then I ran across this excellent collection of folklore put together by Professor D.L. Ashliman. If you have time this holiday weekend, sit down and look through the collection. From Robert Browning’s old English poem to short versions from around the globe. Very entertaining stuff.
But, two things come to mind now, as an adult, when I go back to the Pied Piper tale.
1. You can’t trust politicians at their word for as far as you can throw them. Never, never ever.
2. Probably something that never really poked its way into your reality as a young reader of fairy tales, many (okay, most) of these old cautionary fairy tales are seriously sinister and dark. Kids being kidnapped and thrown in an oven by a witch. Sweet Granny disemboweled by a wolf whose sole purpose is to kill a small girl dressed in red. And how about this one; Hate your step daughter because a mirror says she is more beautiful than you? Why not just hire a woodsman to chop out her heart with an axe. Huh? Rumpelstiltskin. Man, I ain’t even going there.
Finally, the quoted passage above is reportedly taken from the wall of the Hameln, Germany town hall, according to a Jacob and Wilhem Grimm version of the story. I know it is probably not the easiest thing to chisel a passage like this into a wall, but can it be any less emotionally invested? Talk about concise, journalistic style…just the facts, mam.

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Filed under Rants, Reads, Training, Writes

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