"They Reached the Mountain-side" is titled using a phrase from the Robert Browning poem about The Pied Piper of Hamlin. This perplexing story of mass hypnosis or abduction was based on an alleged real event from 1284. It has dominated the town of Hamlin, Germany ever since.
As a child the story was upsetting to me in many ways. First was the death of the rats. They followed the enrapturing music to the river where they were drowned. That was horrific but was followed by worse. The greedy town fathers had hired the piper but refused to pay him. To punish them the children paid the price. Following the allure and menace of the Piper, they trotted away after him and vanished into the mountains.
Sticking a happy ending on this story as Disney still did not make it feel any better.
This is what I pictured then, and still do.