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  • Writer's pictureTammy Lowe

Interesting Fact of the Day...

Richard Doyle (1879)

Here's a mystery for you to ponder:

June 26th is the anniversary of the disappearance of 130 children from a German village.

-In the year 1300, the local church had a stained glass window made in memory of the missing children.

-In 1384, a heartbreaking entry in the town record says:

"It's been 100 years since our children left."

-The remembrance window in the church was destroyed by 1660, but historic accounts of it remain.

Have you guessed yet?

The final clue:

Quote from the Lunenburg Manuscript (1440)

“In the year of 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul on June 26, by a piper, clothed in many kinds of colours, 130 children born in Hamelin were seduced, and lost at the place of execution near the koppen.”

Have you figured out what I'm talking about yet?

The age old fairy-tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a historic event that remains a mystery to this day.

Once upon a time, a minstrel came to Hamelin and -for a price- promised to rid the town of their rat infestation. The mayor agreed and the Pied Piper began to play a magical tune on his flute. He led the rats away from town and to the river, where they drowned. When the time came for him to be paid, the mayor refused. So, one June morning the piper returned, pulled out his flute, and began to play his magical tune again. However, this time it was the children, 130 of them, who followed him out of town, to a cave in a mountain, never to be seen again.

So...what happened to the 130 missing children?

Some say because of the mention of rats, the Piper symbolized the Black Death; however this does not appear to be true. The plague outbreak was still almost a hundred years away. Also, rats were never mentioned until they were included in the Grimm Brother’s fairy-tale centuries later.

Another theory is they were led away to join the Children’s Crusade. Again, the timelines don’t match up.

Whatever happened in Hamelin that June morning-- I hear that to this day, music and dancing of any kind is forbidden on the street the children were last seen: Bungelosenstrasse, “The Street without Drums”

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