City of Pied Piper fame again faces rat problem

BERLIN (AP) -- The German city of Hamelin may be in need of another Pied Piper - it seems the rats are back.

City officials say a popular fountain has been put out of service after the rodents gnawed through a power cable, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

The Lower Saxony city is where, legend has it, the Pied Piper led all the rats out in 1284 with his magic pipe into the Weser River, where they drowned.

But more than 700 years later, city officials say such drastic measures may not be necessary. The fountain was due to be permanently closed anyway because of the high upkeep costs.

And the solution in the fictitious Piper story isn't practical anyway: rats are actually pretty good swimmers.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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