If I understand your original question correctly, you want to implement the page counter functionality that you had previously with PHP, using perl instead - BUT, you don't want to have to convert every existing page into a script.
I can think of two ways to do this:
1) Write a script that takes a single parameter: the name of the page. The script uses the "page" parameter to find the correct template to render and display. The "templates" here can be your original html pages, with a special template tag inserted where you want the counter to go. I would implement this using CGI::Application and HTML::Template. If you also use CGI::Application::Plugin::AutoRunmode and Apache's mod_rewrite module, you can even make the URLs look the same as before.
2) The other option is to keep your original html files, but add an IMG tag where you want the counter to be. Make the SRC attribute of this image the URL to your counter script. You can pass in different page ids via a URL parameter. You'll need to return the result as an image file, however. But you can easily find (or make) GIF files for each digit, then have your script tile the appropriate pieces together to make any number. Use something like GD to do this. And make sure to send the correct (image) header, else you'll only see a broken image link.
Having said all that, be aware that page counters are, in general, frowned upon these days - especially in shared hosting environments, as they tend to waste a lot of computer resources (database read+update per user, per click!)
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