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The Pied Piper

IOnce upon a time there was a boy skilled in many things, but very good ringer,
He had no equal to sound his flute and make the amateurs dance,
One day returning from a festive assembly, along the river on the edge,
A large pike lying on the sand, its mouth open, seemed half dead.

Hello Pied Piper, said the fish, would you support me?
Just now, while jumping, I fell out of the river, I will perish here,
Put me back in the water and if you ever find yourself in trouble,
I, too, will do everything I can for you, to get out of your worries.

The Pied Piper picked up the fish and put it back in the river,
He went on his way, walking away whistling cheerfully,
A little further on, he heard yet another voice near him,
The boy looked at his feet where an injured ant lay on the sand.

Hello Pied Piper, said the ant, I would like to ask you for assistance,
I can't move anymore, I'm going to die if you don't have kindness for me,
Take me to the anthill and if you ever find yourself needing help too,
I will remember what you have done for me and find a cure.

The Pied Piper picked it up and, as with the fish, carried it to the anthill,
A little further on was also on his way, a not proud bee,
Hello Pied Piper, I just tore my wing, I can't fly anymore,
Maybe one day or another I'll make it up to you if you take me to the apiary

The Pied Piper picked it up with great care, carried it to the apiary and continued on his way,
This boy was so clever, some said he must be a bit of a magician,
So the king finally got wind of it all and summoned him to the castle,
This order greatly astonished the flute player, who was greatly afraid that it was nothing beautiful.

Arrived at the castle the king said to him: I was assured that you had a very great power,
And that you came to the end of everything you wanted to do, without setbacks,
I want to know what it is: you see this key, it is that of my treasure,
I'm going to throw it in the river, in an hour bring it back to me, a thousand ports!

If you don't bring it to me in an hour, I'll hang you, high and short,
The king gets up, approaches the window and throws the key straight into the middle of the Ariège,
I'm lost, thought the Pied Piper, no one will find this key in this class,
He went off with his head down, along the river, not knowing what to do in his passage.

Racking his brains, the poor boy saw no way to save his life,
When he suddenly saw a big pike cutting through the water and advancing towards him,
What's wrong with you today, flute player, you're not cheerful, it seems to me,
You're so worried, it's not for nothing, I want to know why you're shaking.

The king sent for me and he threw the key to his treasure in the middle of Ariège,
Telling me that in the hour he would have me hanged if I had not brought it to him,
Damn, don't worry anymore, I can get you out of this trap,
The pike dives to the bottom of the water and in its mouth the key reappears.

Here is the happy boy, all the gold of the earth would not have given him more joy,
Thanking the fish well, without wasting time he runs to present her to the king,
Very well answered the king, you are not a fool but here is another find,
I'm going to scatter a bag of millet in the wood, among the brushwood.

If in an hour you haven't picked up all that millet, there's only the gallows for you,
Here is the very sad flute player, his death was still programmed by the king,
He walked towards the wood, sat his head in his hands, very sorry for his misfortune,
His eyes fixed on the ground, he reflected and saw an ant hard at work.

Here you are very dark, flute player, what's going on, tell me,
The king had a sack of millet scattered among the brushwood,
He'll have me hanged within the hour if everything isn't picked up down to the last grain,
That's all, answered the ant, leave your sadness there, I can get you out of trouble.

Do you remember that one day I needed your help, I couldn't drag myself anymore,
You took me to the anthill, I'll save your life, I haven't forgotten anything,
She came back with the whole anthill, which spread in the wood on all sides,
Picking up the millet in no time, without a grain left.

The king came to check and was surprised to find everything done as he had ordered,
He says to the Pied Piper, it's good, my boy, it's very good, you are gifted,
You have the devil between your two eyes, it's not wrong that you're being boasted about,
But you're not done yet, here is my last motivating test.

I have three daughters, beautiful and so similar that I can hardly distinguish them myself,
Tomorrow, I will lead them to the holy table of the church where we are assiduous,
You will have to know how to tell me, in front of everyone, who is the one who loves you,
If you guess, she will be your wife, you will marry her, if you are wrong, you will be hanged.

The poor Pied Piper found himself even more embarrassed than ever,
Marrying the king's daughter, well, that was not what could cause him pain,
But neither near nor far had he seen any of these three young queens,
So he was going back sadly, how would he recognize the one who loved him?

Thinking it was all over for him, a bee flying towards him flew into the path,
And asked him what bad thing had happened to him, that he looked so pitiful,
He told her his story, saw himself lost, nothing could find him a clever help,
Think again, said the bee, do you remember that one day you found me on your way?

I had just broken my wing, you saved me by carrying me to the hive,
It's up to me to do you a favor, here's my advice for tomorrow morning, little nunuche,
When the king enters the church with his three daughters, I will be there, faithful,
You will see me fly around the head of one of them many times.

I'll do so well that she'll end up waving her handkerchief to drive me away,
Take a good look, don't be mistaken, this is the one you will have to point out to the king,
The Pied Piper wanted to thank her, but she had already disappeared,
So he resumed his journey, and returned home very relaxed and happy.

The next day at mass time, the king entered the church with his three daughters,
All three similar, all three well donee your, beautiful as beautiful mirrors,
The Pied Piper, amazed, followed the royal family a few paces away,
Never, he thought, will any of these beautiful young ladies leave me hopeful!

When they had sat down, arriving at the appointed time, he saw the bee,
She flew and began to buzz around the hair and face of one of them,
Close to the eyelids, so long as at last the king's daughter waved her handkerchief to drive her away,
The boy stood up, saying to the king, she who hunts the bee is ready to love me.

No sooner had he finished than the bee flew away, with a joyous noise, and disappeared,
At the same time the king spoke and the whole assembly fell silent,
It's true, he said, it's the one, since you've guessed you'll marry her,
The Pied Piper saw himself at the end of all his troubles, and the king's daughter he married.

Rhymed quatrains adapted by  l’ARIÉ….JOIE
from a popular tale by Félix Arnaudin


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