Beth Siegalkoff

Today we celebrate the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and to say thank you to all the present-day exterminators. According to the folktale, residents of the German town of Hamelin hired a strangely dressed man to rid their village of rats. The Pied Piper of Hamelin did so by playing his flute and the rats followed him out of town. When finishing the task, the townsfolk refused to pay – so the Pied Piper returned. Once again, the Pied Piper played his flute and the town children followed him out town and vanished, never to return.

This harrowing tale of revenge doesn’t seem like something to celebrate, but someone found a way. Depending on where you live, the day includes festivals and re-enactments of a Pied Piper leading children through the city streets. There is even Richard the Rat, who gets to tell his version of the story.

The Brothers Grimm told the folktale in 1284, Robert Browning wrote the poem in 1842. And, on this day and in this century, we are blessed to have exterminators.

Not only am I thankful for the bait boxes to get rid of the vermin, but our exterminators who happen to be our cousins, also get rid of ants, black widow spiders, wasps, fleas, ticks, stink bugs, etc. Living in the country, there is no end to bugs and vermin, but without exterminators it would be a lot worse. So the next time your exterminators come to do their job, let them know they are appreciated.

This week we would have been having fun at the State Fair, and a week and a half from today on Aug. 1, we would have been celebrating the 35th Herald Day, but both fell the way of COVID-19 and were canceled – or for Herald Day, possibly postponed until Oct. 3, maybe.

So, what is left to celebrate? There is a comet hanging out by the big dipper, we are in the middle of the Dog Days of Summer, Galt has a Farmers Market on Friday nights, and there are 156 shopping days until Christmas. There is always something to be thankful for, even face masks. Not only do they help keep your germs away from others, but also your bad breath. You can have onions and garlic for lunch and your masks saves others from your nasty, stinky breath. And when that negative person, that never has a nice thing say, pops off with a smart aleck remark, you can stick out your tongue or make a grim smile and they are none the wiser.

For a lady who never used to leave my home without wearing lipstick, I don’t have to worry about it smearing, because I don’t wear it much, anymore, just lip balm. One more about wearing masks, when you see someone else wearing one, it makes you feel thankful that they care as much as you do, and that’s a good thing.

Recipe for the day: Eggplant with Mushrooms; Flowers for the day: Love in the Mist

Dates to Remember:

School is supposed to start but all dates are subject to change:

Aug. 10 – Arcohe elementary district and Galt high school district

Aug. 13 – Galt elementary district

Aug. 20 – Oak View elementary district

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.