The Pied Piper of Hamelin Story

A long time ago, there was a little town called Hamelin in Germany. Hamelin was quite pretty, with a river on one side and a mountain on the other. But something bad happened. A bunch of big, scary rats came into the town. These rats were so mean that they fought with dogs, hurt cats, and even bit babies in their cribs. People in the town were really upset and didn't know what to do. They tried to fix the problem, but they couldn't find a way.

Finally, they went to the Mayor of the town and told him about all their troubles. The Mayor got together with his helpers and they talked about different ideas to solve the rat problem. But none of their ideas worked. Then, a strange-looking man came into the room. He was tall and thin, wearing a colorful coat and a weird hat. He had a pipe in his hand. The Mayor was confused and asked, "Who are you? What do you want?" The man said, "I'm a Piper. I heard you have a rat problem. I can help. I can get rid of the rats." The Mayor and his helpers were curious and asked, "How?" The Piper said, "With my pipe."

The Mayor asked, "How much will you charge for this?" The Piper replied, "One thousand coins." The Mayor said, "We'll give you ten thousand coins if you can help us get rid of the rats." The Piper agreed, but he reminded them not to forget their promise.

The Piper went out into the street, took out his pipe, and started playing it. Amazingly, all the rats in Hamelin started coming out of the houses and followed the sound of his pipe. There were so many rats, it looked like hundreds or thousands of them. The Piper walked through the streets, and the rats followed him. He led them to the river and walked into the water. The rats followed and drowned in the river. After this, the Piper went back to the Mayor and asked for the money they promised. But the Mayor thought that since the rats were gone, they didn't need to give him so much money. He said, "Just take five hundred coins and go." The Piper was really mad, but he left.

Later on, the Piper came back to the street, and this time he played a different tune on his pipe. This tune made the children of the town start dancing. They followed the Piper as he walked, singing and dancing along. They went toward a mountain, and a door in the mountain opened up. The Piper and the children went inside, and the door closed behind them. There was one boy who couldn't go in because he had trouble walking. The people in the town saw all of this happening but were helpless. They realized it was their fault for not keeping their promise, but it was too late to fix it.
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