The Job Snatcher
A traditional Yorkshire folk story from the year 3000.
Translated from the original Yarksher by Marcus Blakeston.
Long, long ago, before The Great Gee Had laid it to waste, there was a city called That Lunn Don. It was a city like no other, a vast metropolis made of concrete and steel, circled by giant metal birds, and its dwellers looked upon our luscious green land with envious eyes.
Within the walls of That Lunn Don lived a wicked witch, known as The Snatcher, who liked nothing more than stealing the milk from new born infants and casting people from their homes with an evil cackle.
One day, The Snatcher tricked the people of England into making her their queen.
“You will all own your homes,” said The Snatcher.
“Yes, yes, yes,” said the people of England.
“You will all own a part of your place of work,” said The Snatcher.
“Yes, yes, yes,” said the people of England. “We want you to be our queen so that these things may happen.”
But little did the people of England know her true intentions, for The Snatcher was wise and cunning as well as wicked and evil. On the very day she was crowned queen, The Snatcher set in motion her dastardly plan to pass all of the wealth of England to That Lunn Don so that its people would prosper at the expense of the rest of the country.
She passed new laws to set the money lenders free from their chains. She created an army of Lords of the Land who were free to charge the people of England tithes far in excess of what they could afford, making them reliant on charity to survive. She took away jobs and made people beg for scraps of food and clothing. Many travelling minstrels of the time sang songs of protest, but these fell on deaf ears and The Snatcher ruled for many years with an iron fist.
It was not long into her reign of terror that The Snatcher turned her steel gaze to the land of Yorkshire and all the riches it contained.
“Give me those jobs, for you are not worthy of them,” said The Snatcher.
“No, no, no,” said the people of Yorkshire.
But The Snatcher did not listen, and set about taking away all of the jobs of Yorkshire to give to the people of That Lunn Don.
This angered the people of Yorkshire, and they sent forth their champion, Scar Gill, leader of the under-dwellers, to do battle with The Snatcher. Scar Gill was a ferocious warrior who had many scalps to his name, but even so he was no match for the wicked witch.
“Give us back our jobs,” said Scar Gill.
“No, no, no,” said The Snatcher.
In retaliation for Scar Gill’s effrontery, The Snatcher laid siege to the under-dwellers and their families. The siege lasted many years, and many under-dwellers perished before it was ended. The Snatcher sent forth her Blue Army from the city of That Lunn Don to smite them once and for all, and the caves of the under-dwellers were sealed for all time. Whole villages, which relied on trade from the under-dwellers for their very existence, shrivelled and died.
But still the wicked witch was not satisfied. She created a tax on poles, which everyone who owned a pole had to pay, even if they were destitute and could not afford to do so.
“No, no, no,” said the people of Yorkshire.
“Yes, yes, yes,” said The Snatcher.
But the people of Yorkshire found an ally in a land far away. “Can’t pay, won’t pay,” said the people of this far away land.
“Then you will all rot in jail,” replied The Snatcher, and dared them to do their worst.
So the people of Yorkshire and the land far away marched on the city of That Lunn Don and rampaged through its streets of concrete and steel.
“Can’t pay, won’t pay,” cried the people as they set about their search for the wicked witch with pitchforks and flaming torches.
But The Snatcher had alerted her Blue Army, who were waiting to smite them with heavy clubs while she herself remained safe within the walls of her castle. Many lives were lost in the ensuing bloody battle, and the armies of the north were defeated, but the message had been sent. No longer would the country put up with the tyranny of the wicked witch.
The Snatcher was forced to abdicate her throne soon after, and went to live in exile. Scar Gill spent many years in search of her hiding place to avenge the under-dwellers, but his search proved futile and the wicked witch remained in hiding. One day, one of The Snatcher’s cohorts announced she was dead and ordered the country to mourn for her passing.
There was much rejoicing throughout the land, and street parties were held in celebration. The surviving under-dwellers, now forced to live above ground, looked forward to the day when they could visit The Snatcher’s grave and urinate on it, but the location of the grave was kept secret for this very reason.
Some say, before she died, The Snatcher passed her spirit to a new body, leaving an empty shell behind, so that she could continue her evil work from beyond the grave. Others say she made a pact with the devil and lives on to this day, plotting her revenge on the people of Yorkshire, and her grave, if it even exists, lies empty. Nobody knows for sure.
And so we remain vigilant, ready for The Snatcher’s return. We guard our homes, we guard our jobs, and we guard our children’s milk. Because these things are important to us. And we will never let them be taken from us again.