My Itinerary ({: itinerary.length :})

{: event.badge :}

{: event.title :}

{: event.dates :} {: event.dateDescription :}
{: item :}
Suitable for {: item :}
1001 Stories Collection

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

1001 piedpiperofhamelin sylpierce
Added on 23rd September 2020

Oral tradition Folktale from Germany

Europe Animals Folk and fairy tales Magic
1001

An infestation of rats, a mysterious piper and a promise broken.

Story

Many years ago, the streets of the German town of Hamelin filled with rats. The townspeople didn’t know what to do. One day, a piper arrived. He would get rid of all of the rats – for a price. He set about playing his pipe and the rats followed him out of town but when the townspeople refused to pay him he picked up his pipe again and the rats were not the only ones the Pied Piper led away…

Why we chose it

A well known traditional story which has been retold and reimagined many times.

Where it came from

The tale of a rat-infested town was displayed in a stained glass window in the Church of Hamelin, which was built in around 1300. The window, and the church itself, were destroyed in 1660 but we still have written versions of the tale. Although the story has changed over the years, it is inspired by real events in Hamelin and the visit of a piper.

Where it went next

The legend continues to be referenced in many poems, songs and films. The character of the Pied Piper features in the film Shrek Forever After (2010) and the K-POP group BTS have a song called ‘Pied Piper’ (2017). In the town of Hamelin, there are lots of reminders of the story, including a Pied Piper statue and a clock tower that tells the tale.

Associated stories

Author Michael Morpurgo and illustrator Emma Chichester Clarke retell the story through the eyes of the boy who is left behind in their book The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents is based on the Pied Piper and gives the tale an unusual, imaginative and very funny twist.

Added on 23rd September 2020

Oral tradition Folktale from Germany

Europe Animals Folk and fairy tales Magic
1001