The Children Who Followed The Piper - Padraic Colum

The Children Who Followed The Piper By Padraic Colum



FIRST there were the rats: they came into the town in families, and each family went to live in a stable. From the stables they went into the cellars, and from the cellars they went into the kitchens ; and from the kitchens they went into the parlors, and from the parlors they went into the bedrooms. Then they went into the town hall. Then they went into the churches. The cats they chased and the dogs they jeered at. They ate the bacon and the beans, the cheese and the custards. They squeaked under the beds and they climbed the ropes in the belfries ; then they went to live in the ovens where the bread was being baked. And one day, in his own home, a rat jumped out of the Mayor's pie dish. 

That day, as he sat in the council room with the Aldermen beside him, the Mayor was told that there was a fellow outside who said he was come to help the Town Council. 

"I hope he has something to do with banishing the rats," said the Mayor. "I must say that it is not worth while being Mayor while the rats are in this good town. I have had to keep my scarlet robe locked up in an iron chest for fear the rats would eat it."