When the Piper Was Not Paid

Written by: Robert Pettit

The rampant rats made everyone afraid. As they multiplied, trepidation stayed. At first, there was no one who could be found to free the village from rats that abound. In the town, was there anyone around? Along came a piper with a haunting sound. He approached people with temerity. “I shall play the sounds that will make you free. As the rats listen to my melody, they will leave your town as they follow me. For my services, there is a large fee. I will rid you of your problem; you’ll see!” Soon, the rats all disappeared magically. Not one rat was in the vicinity. However, when the piper asked for pay, the townspeople told him to go away. “We find there’s no need for compensation. Nothing’s in writing, no obligation.” This breach of contract made the piper cross. “People of this town, you will incur loss.” His melody took the children away. No one saw them again after that day.