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I was eleven years old when the Pied Piper arrived,

Strolling into Dunedin, New Zealand in May, 1923.

We had a infestation of rats, somehow he had derived,

Of which he could rid us of, for just a small fee.

A town council was called later on that day,

To discuss the situation that was now in our way.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin, many people claimed him to be.

The old legend that all fear, from the elderly to the youngest baby.

“We are living in the modern age”, many said.

“The old superstitions and legends are all but dead.”

We asked for a demonstration of how he would rid of us of the rat,

Three of which he gave, all very impressive, and that was that.

The mayor the signed the Pied Piper’s  contract,

With the handsome fee of thirty pounds.

The Pied Piper bowed low, like in a comical act,

His eyes glimmering in his sockets, like an evil clown’s.

He whipped out his pipe, and began to play he did,

Such hauntingly beautiful melodies, I have never heard again.

In the tune I heard a beautiful madness, that made me forbid,

Any thought or action that would go against its free rein.

I  stood there, helplessly mesmerized,

As swarms of rats poured out of the sewers and the alleyways.

The rats gathered at the piper’s feet, as if hypnotized,

And followed him out of town, in the direction of the bays.

The whole town celebrated with one another and rejoiced ,

For the rat infestation was no more.

Laughter and songs were everywhere, as our joy was voiced,

And every street became a dance floor.

Later that night, the Pied Piper returned,

To claim the money that he had so justly earned.

The mayor greeted him, with the money in hand,

Yet the Piper’s face twisted with rage, until you could see every sweat gland.

“This is not the amount that you agreed to pay me.”

The Piper shouted loudly, his eyes dancing with glee.

“The contract you signed, promised me 30 children… Not 30 pounds.”

“Here. Look at it yourself, in case you don’t believe what it sounds.”

The mayor and his advisors examined the lengthy contract for the next hour,

Refusing to believe that they had signed children over to such an evil power.

Yet, somehow, the contract had changed from whence they had first seen it.

Through magic or trickery, the contract had been modified with a flit.

Unable to go through with such a horrendous deed,

The mayor rallied the townspeople and they chased out the Pied Piper.

“We must guard our children from this evil.” the mayor decreed.

“From this demon. From this fiend. From this viper.”

” We must all keep our children safe and sound, under lock and key. ”

“For the Piper will surely return later in the night, to claim his fee.”

The townspeople discussed back and forth, until they all agreed.

And so it was, that every child was locked up safe, so the Piper would not succeed.

I still remember that night as if it was just the other day.

Every second passing by so slowly, that I feared I would waste away.

I waited, unable to sleep, locked in my room.

Wanting to hear that pipe again. To listen to my doom.

I do not know what hour of the night, the Pied Piper returned,

All I know is that I slowly began to hear a faint tune.

A melody grew louder and louder, until in my head it burned,

It’s notes mesmerising me, until I felt like a loon.

My arms and legs began to move in response,

As if commanded by the pipe’s eerie song.

I was a like puppet on a string, filled with nonchalance,

Dancing into its masters trap, headlong.

I watched as my legs rose beneath me and walked me to the bedroom door.

My hands tried to open it, but the door was locked of course.

A hole through the wooden door, my fingers began to bore.

Harder and harder my nails dug into the wood, with all of my body’s force.

Blood began to trickle down my hands as the wood splintered into my skin.

The splinters  began to sink deeper, separating finger nail from flesh.

I tried to cry out as the blinding pain washed over me, to even make a din.

However I was a spectator in my own body, as if my brain was separated by mesh.

Suddenly the melody changed, and my body responded in tow.

I watched as my legs walked me over to the nearby window.

My hands raised it up, and then to my shock and woe.

I jumped out of the window, to the hard ground meters below.

I landed badly, a large pop erupting from my broken knee.

Pain screamed through my body, into my mouth, yet nothing could I plea.

I looked around and saw other children, suffering the same torture as me.

Their faces like mine, white in terror, like a banshee.

We all frantically walked and crawled towards the origin of the pipe’s tune, as if we were hyper.

And out of the darkness of an alleyway, stepped out the Pied Piper.

Swarms of rats scurried around his feet,

Obeying the tune of the Piper in the street.

The Pied Piper turned and looked at us all,

To see what great lengths we had taken to answer his call.

His smile gleamed bright in the dark night,

As if he was relishing and celebrating in the sight.