We’re a few months shy of National Rat Catcher’s Day, July 22, and 639 years past the Pied Piper’s hasty exit, per Robert Browning, though 731 if you go by the Grimm’s account. Divided into 15 sections, Browning’s 303-line poem “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” rhymes vermin with determine, ditty with pity, and in perhaps the letter U’s most triumphant poetic moment, glutinous with mutinous.
The Pied Piper of Tucson
This moniker belonged to Charles ‘Smitty’ Schmid, Jr. (1942-1975), a serial killer who murdered three Tucson women between 1964 and 1965. According to Time magazine, it was his charisma more than anything that earned him the Pied Piper title. At one point Schmid used a clothespin to modify his facial features so he’d have a more Elvis-like appearance. Joyce Carol Oates’ story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is based on his crimes.
What Pied Eye You Have
He’s been a foe in DC Comics’ The Flash, and a TV movie on Thanksgiving Day that starred future Gilligan’s Island castaway Jim Backus. It was only a matter of time until he debuted in Season Two of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. The episode “Go Where I Send Thee…” features the Pied Piper in his evilest incarnation to-date. As the above screenshot shows, we’re talking one bad motherfluter.
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by Fairy Tale Review intern Paige Neely and poetry editor Jon Riccio.