March 7th 1284 – Business has been very slow since Christmas. The bailiffs have been round today threatening to evict us. It would appear that the ancient craft of rat-catching is dying out. I was supposed to have done a job for the village baker today but when I got there he told me that my services were no longer needed – ahe’s bought himself a cat instead.
March 8th 1284 – I spent today sending my CV off to a few Town Criers in the hope this might drum up some work. It’s not cheap though. They all want paying, irrespective of whether I get any work or not. The trouble is I can’t go around and check up on what exactly they’re saying.
March 9th 1284 – I spoke to a friend of mine, Jack, he’s the Royal Jester. Very flamboyant and reckons that my dress sense might be letting me down. He thinks I need to spruce myself up a bit.
March 10th 1284 – Things are really desperate. I’ve had no work for over a month. The Lord of the Manor has sent a message to say if I don’t pay the rent by the end of the month he will have me evicted, put in the stocks for a day and then in his dungeon.
March 11th 1284 – Things have gone from bad to worse. My wife has left me. She says she’s had enough of being poor and taking in the neighbour’s dirty washing. She’s gone to work for the Blacksmith as his ‘live in housekeeper’. The whole village know what that means! But what can I do – I mean he’s a big bloke!
March 12th 1284 – On the advice of Jack the Royal Jester I’ve taken out a loan and spent the whole lot on a new outfit. It’s called pied clothing. Very colourful and not the sort of gear I would usually wear. He also suggested I ‘re-invent myself’, which means a new name for the business and more aggressive marketing. So I’ve had some posters made and I’m calling myself ‘The Pied Piper – Rat-Catcher Extraordinary’. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
March 17th 1284 – Some good news for a change. I’ve received a message from the Mayor of Hamelin, a small village the other side of the mountain. Seems they’ve got a terrible infestation of rats and are desperate for an answer. I’m due to meet the Mayor and the Town Council the day after tomorrow.
March 18th 1284 – Up early this morning for the long trek to Hamelin. I’ve dressed in my new pied outfit and given my pipe a good clean. I want to make a good impression when I meet the good folk of Hamelin tomorrow.
March 19th 1284 – It’s been a very productive day. The Mayor of Hamelin turned out to be a very amiable chap. He took me on a tour of the town and showed me the problem. There are rats everywhere. This is going to be a big job. I spent the evening dining with the Town Council. They have promised to pay me very well if I can rid the town of these rats. I aim to start early tomorrow morning.
March 22nd 1284 – It’s been a hectic few days but I’ve finally got rid of the last of the rats. There were more of those vermin than anyone had guessed. I went through the streets playing my pipe. People told me I looked a wonderful sight striding through the town in my new, colourful outfit, with thousands of rats following me, entranced by the magical tune on my pipe. I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep and then collecting my gold from the mayor in the morning.
March 23rd 1284 – It’s been a nightmare of a day. That amiable Mayor and his Town Council were not as friendly, nor as honest as they had first made out. They’re now saying that they won’t pay me unless I sort out another problem they’ve got. They want me to go round the town tomorrow night and use my pipe to entrance all the children. They then want me to get rid of them in the same way that I got rid of the rats. It seems that the Town Council feel that there are too many children in Hamelin and they are becoming a drain on resources.
They’ve promised me more gold than I could ever dream of. The problem is I will be expected to take the blame. Their plan is to put out some story about me being angry about the money they were offering and taking it out on the children of Hamelin. I will, of course, be an outcast and reviled throughout history, but I will be rich.
March 24th 1284 – It’s the end of a very long day. It’s late at night and I’m making my way home. The gold was exactly where the Mayor said it would be along with a horse and cart for me to transport it in. I have so much gold that I’ll never have to work again.
March 27th 1284 – I’ve been home for a couple of days now. Today I had the expected visit from our local magistrate. He tells me that there has been a mysterious disappearance in the nearby town of Hamelin. Seems the Mayor and the whole Town Council have vanished. There was no real evidence as to what had happened but one of the children thought that he saw the town officials following a brightly dressed man playing a pipe up into the mountains. Due to such a lack of hard evidence, the magistrate said that no further action was being taken.