London: The Pied Piper of Hamelin could be wanted again as the German town has become infested with rats, with a growing legion of the rodents managing to knock out one of the town’s fountains.
Thomas Wahmes, spokesman for the town council said that rats had “chewed through electricity cables” operating the fountain, which stands outside the German town’s railway station.
The rats’ fondness for gnawing on cables has also led to occasional problems with traffic lights near the fountain, the Telegraph reported.
In an ironic twist of fate the fame of the Pied Piper, who, according to legend, rid Hamelin of its furry menace in 1284 by leading the rats to their death in the River Weser, was now contributing to a rodent renaissance.
More tourists means more litter and rubbish, and that equals more food for rats.
“The human factor plays a big role,” Gunter Loschner, Hamelin’s official rat catcher, told the local newspaper Deister und Weser Zeitung.
“Visitors sit around the fountain and throw bread to feed the birds. At night the rats come out and take any leftovers. They dive into the cable ducts because they can eat undisturbed,” Loschner said.
It has been speculated that even if the Pied Piper returned, he would now have trouble piping the rats to the river. Papers pointed out that traffic noise and the general cacophony of modern living, would drown out his music.