In 1376, the Pied Piper of Hamelin supposedly played the city’s rat infestation into a river where they drowned, then made off with the town’s children. Now, according to The Times of London, Hamelin, along with much of Germany, is again infested with rats due to strict rubbish disposal regulations that mean that food is often flushed down the toilet, creating a sewer smorgasbord for the rodents. Henner Schmidt, a senior member of the Berlin’s Free Democratic Party, even suggested offering a one euro bounty on rats. For Hamelin’s part, the city has hired an official exterminator who is using roughly 40 traps with poisoned bait. Cynics have suggested the town is coming clean about its Rattus norvegicus problem to increase tourism--next year is the 725th anniversary of the story.
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