Legend holds that 700 years ago in the medieval town of Hamelin, Germany, a mysterious piper dressed in gay colours spirited away the town’s children along with a plague of rats. However, as with legends, nothing is certain. Some say the man wasn’t a piper and the rats were fictitious. The Brothers Grimm may have added these elements to their fairy tale in 1812 to give the piper a motive. His motive was always the missing element. What is certain is that throughout the fourteenth century local legend spoke of 130 young people disappearing from Hamelin. As early as 1300, a stained glass window in a city church showed a man in colourful clothes surrounded by a group of children. No written account appears in town chronicles until a 1384 entry that read: ‘It is 10 years since our children left.’