No one realised that music would awaken the Monsters
“.....The mountain closed behind the Piper and the children, and they were never seen again.”
Johnni shivered as his grandfather finished the story. He loved that story, just as much as he feared it.
“Then what happened, Grandpapa?” Johnni asked, just as he asked every time the story was told.
“The mayor outlawed music from Hamelin, and life went on.”
“But what about the children?”
“The children were trapped inside the mountain forever, but nobody ever forgot them.” Henri looked up to see his wife approaching with a piping hot apple pie.
That looks delicious, Martha, he signed to her.
Martha put the pie on the table and signed back. Only the best for you, my dears.
Henri smiled at her as she cut both him and Johnni a large slice of pie, before settling back with one of her own.
The tale of the Piper again, was it? Martha signed to Johnni as they sat around the fire, eating the apple pie.
Of course, Grandmama! Johnni signed back.
Henri laughed. What else would it be?
That night, as Johnni lay in his bed, he heard his lame grandfather limping up the stairs. It brought to his mind the lame boy in the story of the Piper. He had almost been trapped in the mountain, but for the fact he was too slow to keep up. In fact, the boy in the story was a lot like his grandfather, and not just because he was lame. Johnni’s grandmother was in it too, as the deaf girl who couldn’t hear the music, but followed the rest out of curiosity. Johnni’s heart quickened. Could the story be true?
Johnni brushed the thought away. Of course the story was not true. His grandfather had made it up to explain why music was not allowed in Hamelin anymore. The real story was, of course, much more boring. And the lame boy was a lot like his grandfather because his grandfather had made the story. And the deaf girl was his grandmother, put in the story by his grandfather.
Johnni sat up in bed. He had a sudden, strange desire to hear music, real music as it was in stories. He began to whistle softly. It wasn’t a song exactly, just a little tune he made up as he went along. As he whistled, louder and louder, he realised his grandfather’s slow, thumping steps had stopped. The door creaked, and Johnni quickly lay down in bed again, pretending to be asleep.
Through half closed eyes, Johnni watched as his grandfather stuck his head around the doorway. He had an odd look on his face- was it fear? But he saw Johnni lying safely in bed, and after a minute, he continued his slow walk along the hall. Johnni’s breath quickened.