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McCallion
 
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THE NIT NURSE
by
Hugh McCallion

The teacher in the village school, well qualified in art,
Had got the class together and was just about to start.
A lesson in the finer points was what she had in mind,
But many of the boys and girls were otherwise inclined.

Said little Bridie Donovan: "Please Miss it isn't fair,
Them naughty boys behind us keeps tuggin' at our hair."
Then Mary Ann Mc Cafferty, a buxom ten year old,
Plants a perfect bunch of knuckles on a lad who's overbold.

"They'll never stop their nonsense Miss, until you use the cane,"
Said Theresa Moriarty just before she howled in pain;
And little Paddy Docherty, who's pinched her ample south,
Lookin' like a piece of butter wouldn't melt inside his mouth.

"I wont stand any more of this," Miss Madigan opines,
And flayed the air to try to scare that bunch of philistines.
"I'll send for Mr Cassidy; you'll have yourselves to blame."
But they paid her scant attention - and then the Nit Nurse came!

The pupils stared in disbelief and silence hit the room,
And faces that exuded fun were now recording gloom.
The prospect of 'a letter home' filled each with apprehension
As Nurse Malone surveyed the scene and added to the tension.

Those naughty boys had lost the urge to tug on pony tails,
And here and there a furtive glance at dirty finger nails;
And little Mickey Finnegan could not resist a scratch,
The kind of thing that indicates a 'lodger' in the thatch.

"Now boys and girls, this afternoon, I'd like to talk to you
About the need for cleanliness in everything you do.
For germs will live and multiply wherever there is dirt,
So wash your hands and cut your nails and often change your shirt."

"Come tell me now," said Nurse Malone, addressing 'Curly' Brown,
A little gent from head to toe in spite of 'hand-me-down.'
"How long you wear a shirt my boy, stand up and tell the class."
Which brought the ready-made reply: "An inch below me ass!"
 
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