Challenge #03871-J219: Learned the Wrong Lesson

A strange malady strikes a village, everyone under the age of 12 starts dancing every single night from midnight until 1 in the morning, unable to stop until they collapse. Even infants moving in the rhythm. They need help, soon! -- Anon Guest

They tell cautionary tales about a little hamlet in the middle of nowhere. The piper rid the place of rats and, when they refused to pay, rid the place of their children. The lesson should be, "pay those who do the work" and NOT "kill your contractors."

Now the vengeful ghost of the bard wanders the streets between midnight and dawn. The mournful melody takes children from their beds and, still sleeping, sends them tripping and skipping about as if dancing to a merry tune. Even babies in their cradles writhe as if they were merry.

They spend their days exhausted. Footsore and lax even if they try to stir themselves. Those who tried too hard to help their families fell sick. They needed rest. They needed nursing. Some would barely eat.

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