Rats Plague Pied Piper City
Infestation threatens to spoil anniversary
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2008 1:52 AM CST
The medieval town center of Hamelin, Germany. Plans to celebrate the legend of the Pied Piper are being overshadowed by a new plague of rats.   (Hamelin official website)
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(Newser) – The 725th anniversary of the Pied Piper's legendary removal of rats from the German town of Hamelin could be spoiled by—wait for it—rats. The rodents have infested an empty lot the size of a soccer field close to the picturesque medieval town. Rather than hire another piper, authorities have placed traps around the field.  

The rat population has "exploded" and threatens to spread to nearby homes, said a town spokesman. "We need to deal with the rats directly on the spot," he said. "We hope that within weeks we'll have removed this threat."