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The Pied Piper

A Poem

By Stephanie HoogstadPublished 5 months ago 2 min read
The Pied Piper
Photo by Frédéric Barriol on Unsplash

Adorned in Technicolor—

an emerald cloak, a ruby shirt,

and sapphire pants—

they all think he’s off,

a bum, a ne’er-do-well, a loon,

And the way he prances through the streets,

twiddling on his playful pipes,

does not improve their thoughts of him;

They try to keep their children

from his sight,

for surely he must be crazy

and dangerous to act this way.


The children see him playing

and dancing his way through their town,

and yet they see nothing wrong with him;

He is their hero,

their guiding light,

and they yearn to follow him,

to dance with him into the night,

to neglect their studies

for just one day;

All they want to do is play

with this strange man from a distant land,

who just wants to play as well.


He wants to be seen,

he wants to be heard,

he wants to be loved,

and for so long he’s yearned

to hear the applause

and to know his work is loved,

but try as he might,

he cannot be satisfied,

for he knows what they think,

the adults of these towns;

He knows they think he’s crazy

or lazy

or nothing more than a simple clown;

He knows they fear him

and don’t approve of his ways;

He knows he’s the grasshopper

and that those ants will never appreciate

his art,

which he only makes

to bring them joy

so that they will love him;

If only he had seen

how the children adore him!


Finally the day came

when he could no longer take it,

and he played his flute

right out of town;

The children, they loved him,

and couldn’t bear to see him go,

so after him they went,

except for the blind, the lame, and the deaf;

The way they followed him,

they seemed to be under a spell,

so their parents blamed him

and tried to find him, to hang him

for the theft of their children,

but they found no trace of him,

for this multicolored musician

had danced off into the sunset.


He leaves them one message,

these uptight adults:

give respect to those

who bring you art,

be they writers or painters or the simple flute player;

More simply said,

always pay the piper.

* * *

Poet’s Note: This piece was originally published on the blog “Medusa’s Kitchen”, which you can check out at this link:

social commentaryinspirational

About the Creator

Stephanie Hoogstad

With a BA in English and MSc in Creative Writing, writing is my life. I have edited and ghost written for years with some published stories and poems of my own.

Learn more about me: thewritersscrapbin.com

Support my writing: Patreon

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran5 months ago

    I really loved the message he left them! Awesome poem!

  • Naveed 5 months ago

    This was an incredibly well-written piece. Great poem.

  • Hannah Moore5 months ago

    Kind of feel like if I don't comment and like you might abduct me... Great poem.

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