West Germany: The Paid Piper

The town of Hamelin, Germany—which according to legend hired the Pied Piper in 1284—last week appointed another official rat catcher: Britain's Rentokil Ltd. It signed a $15,400 contract to rid the town of rats and mice. Applying the techniques that have boosted its annual sales to more than $11 million, Rentokil will use rodenticides, not flutes. Hamelin's children will distribute leaflets asking for aid in locating rodents, but the company has no further plans for the youngsters—unless perhaps the town lathers again rat on the deal.

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