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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