In the old story, the Pied Piper of Hamelin attracted enthusiastic children to an unknown place, from which they never returned. Teen-pop sensation Justin Bieber's Dubai performances on the weekend did not end that badly; but they didn't go off quite right, either.
His two shows were events for which thousands of his fans, some as young as 6, had been waiting with bated breath.
Excitement boiled over on Sunday night when a "crazy fan who wanted a hug" somehow got onto the stage. The result was a scuffle with security men, and a broken piano - which mysteriously kept playing as it fell. Perhaps it had been programmed to know that the show must go on.
Unfortunately, there was also a more significant problem with both the Canadian pop idol's shows. As some of today's letters to the editor indicate, Bieber struck the wrong chord with passionate Beliebers - and their parents - through inordinate delays in starting the shows, which fell on the evenings before school days.
Next time, we hope, the organisers, as well as Bieber, will show more respect to his youthful fans - and their patient parents. If he can't be more punctual his followers, like those of the Pied Piper in the story, may eventually just disappear from the venues of his concerts.