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Street children - Dogs and rats

Street children - Dogs and rats

Jacko is another of the children sleeping rough in Billingsgate Market.

Jacko recounts how he used to work with a rat-catcher called Vic. Their job was to keep the granaries in the London dockyards free from vermin.

Jacko's contribution was to attract the rats out of their hiding places and steer them over to Vic, who would place them in a large basket.

Jacko describes how Vic was very particular about catching the rats alive and not harming them...because the rats will later be taken to a pub in Soho where they will be slaughtered in a dog pit and the best rats achieve the best prices.

One day Jacko arrives at the granary to find Vic convulsing. Jacko decides to continue with the Soho trade, but when he is paid off with a fraction of the usual price for his delivery of rats he decides to pick a punter's pocket. He is nearly caught and now, without any occupation, arrives at Billingsgate to join the homeless children.

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