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Friday, October 1, 2010

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup


Today, I saw once again the bunny that lives in my yard. Bunny did not seem afraid of me or the chickens who came tearing to meet me, squawking and roaming about. It seems that Bunny comes out at dusk in my yard. He lives under a pile of yard trash that was once two very large privet shrubs, grape vines, and wisteria vines that were cut and piled by a friend who has yet to return and haul them to the road. 
Since this bunny has been protected by my pile, I am really reluctant to push for removal. It is a massive pile about 12' x 12', lots of cover for gentle Bunny. Thinking about Bunny and the thrill of my remaining in the yard, stalking Bunny from near and far with my camera made me think of one of my favorite poems. This picture was taken at dusk, just when the last bit of light was left. With the red-eye gone, he is a white-eye.

Strictly Germ-proof

by Arthur Guiterman

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup

Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised;—
It wasn't Disinfected and it wasn't Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

In sulphurated hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears;
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
And elected it a member of the Fumigated Band.
There's not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;

And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup—
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.


1] Prophylactic: disease-preventing.
8] permanganate: a salt of permanganic acid. carbolated soap: a salt of carbolic acid.
13] Micrococcus: spherical bacterium, usually found on the skin of mammals.
14] iodoform: compound of iodine used as a disinfectant.

Since I did not know the meaning of the middle two words, I decided to leave definitions intact.


  1. It's funny you would say this is one of your favorite father put these words to music and would play his guitar and sing this to my sisters and me when we were little. It too is one of my favorites.

  2. Anon,
    How interesting! Thanks for stopping by and telling me a sweet story.

  3. Thank you and thank you again. I have been searching for this poem for years. I memorized it when I was very young but over the years much of it has escaped my memory. Every once in awhile I recite the parts that I can recall to my wife of 54 years which always makes her smile. You have brightened our day. Thank you again.

    1. Phil,
      You are welcome. I hope she smiles often because the poem makes me smile too, often.

  4. Linda, I loved this poem, we had to memorize it in 3rd grade, I will never forget it! Thank you for posting!

    1. Cheryl,
      I loved it too and still do. I am glad you are reading older posts!


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