Our town does not have a Pied Piper but we boast of the Piano Man instead.
No announcement precedes his arrival.
As summer rolls in and spills its warmth on rooftops and sidewalks, he makes an inconspicuous appearance in the verdant market square.
His piano, made of wood from trees that no longer grow on the face of the earth, rests under a leafy canopy like a fiery block of orange painted in the colour of sunlight.
His fingers, wizened and distorted by age and arthritis, skip and leap from note to note, white key to black and black to white.
Under his delicate touch, music spills out of the piano and mingles with the summer breeze and wanders into town.
It meanders down every alley and walkway, glides in and out of the busy market stalls, sneaks past the throngs of earnest shoppers and sly shoplifters and, when it chances upon keen listeners, sprinkles an extra dose of happiness on them.
His departures are as unassuming as his arrivals.
Quiet, unobtrusive, like the silent quotidian disappearance of the sun behind the twilight skies.
But every time he departs, he takes away a piece of our summer with him.
(Tale originally published on Friday, July 3, 2015)