Suzie McBash and the Handwashing Dash
by Ateret Haselkorn
There was a young lady named Suzie McBash
Who wore, with great pride, the hall monitor sash.
She watched other kids as they walked through the school,
Making sure they were safe from bullies and fools.
Little Suzie loved fun and learning all year,
To see her peers happy and healthy brought cheer.
So imagine her sadness, her pain, her dismay,
When a cold virus came and stopped all their play.
One Monday she heard the first sneeze make its sound.
On Tuesday, of course, a few more could be found.
Come Wednesday the infected echoed the halls.
By Thursday they’d formed an Achoo! kind of wall.
So Friday, at last, Suzie held up her hand.
She knew it was time to make a grand stand.
“We need a campaign,” she told all her teachers,
Who nodded with vigor and asked, “With what features?”
“I see posters and lectures - health education,
Hand washing is key for shorter duration.”
“See, we must stop the spread quickly before
Germs hop from hands to lockers, doorknobs, and more.”
And then Suzie stood and made her point clear,
She’d tallied healthy behavior by watching her peers.
Her teachers all looked at the chart with a frown
For the handwashing rate went down, down, down, down
And the number of sick kids went up, up, up, up.
Suzie said, “These things are connected – yup!
If we don’t act now, this bad irritation
Will take up a year and the whole population.”
And so she began walking the halls,
Explaining prevention without the pitfalls.
“To protect yourself and each other,” she called,
“Much healthier habits must be installed.”
“First, wet your hands, add soap and start lathering.
Clean under your nails where germs are all gathering.
Scrub both your palms and the backs of your hands.
Wash ‘tween your fingers and under ring bands.”
Now, most of the kids understood and went on,
Except for one boy who let out a yawn.
“Crazy girl,” he said, “I am bored, and I reckon
You’ve been washing your hands for at least 20 seconds.”
“Right on!” Suzie cried, “’Cuz that’s what it takes
To lift all the microbes – to give them a shake!
These germs are not welcome at school, let us fight!”
But the boy just shrugged and said “Go fly a kite.”
Suzie straightened her sash, she held up her chin,
She was brave, she was smart, and she kept up a grin.
She strode down the hall and told all who would listen,
“Keep calm, carry on, ‘cuz scrubbing makes friction,
And together with water the dirt leaves your skin,
Is carried away, and sent down the bin.”
A week passed and she saw some improvement,
Maybe she’d started a handwashing movement!
But when she viewed her chart of new illness
The line still went up, not down into stillness.
“Why is that?” Suzie questioned and clicked.
A close look showed that Grade Five had been sick.
So Suzie, hall monitor extraordinaire,
Entered their classroom and started to glare.
There, right before her, that boy from before
Was sneezing and wiping his hands on a drawer!
“Come stand here,” she said, drawing him nearer.
“I’ve something to show you, to make this all clearer.”
And from behind her sash she took out
A sparkly blue powder, in a tube with a spout.
She sprinkled it over his hands and commanded
He wash it off now – in the sink, double handed.
The boy scoffed and smirked and was rude,
Then rinsed his hands fast and let them be viewed.
“See?” he sneered meanly, “The blue stuff’s all gone
Your rules are dumb – hey, what’s that baton?”
For Suzie had one more nice trick up her sash -
A blacklight she shone on his hands with a flash.
And, lo and behold, the powder lit up.
It was blue, it was bright, it looked like makeup.
Then all of Grade Five pointed and hooted,
“The germs are all over. You look so polluted!”
And so the boy blushed and added some soap,
He washed his hands once again, though he felt like a dope.
But this time when Suzie waved her blacklight,
The backs of his hands still looked so bright.
The boy frowned and looked down, so sorry was he.
“Don’t worry,” said Suzie, hiding her glee.
“We’re in this together, we’ll all make a change,
And if you wash well, your hands won’t look strange.”
She was right once again, that hall monitor lass,
‘Cuz after that day, all the students in class
Started a game called “Keep clean and stay well!”
They all washed their hands and were really just swell,
As fewer and fewer and fewer got ill,
All thanks to Suzie’s strong mind and strong will.