Sugar (Gerbil) died on September 3, 2007 at the Bealeton Library following an acute Labor Day illness. The exact cause of death is unknown, but some speculate that Sugar took the phrase "Labor Day" too literally and died from overexertion in shredding cardboard tubes. Library staff had also observed a general malaise since the demise of Spice, Sugar’s one known sibling, four months ago. The two had forged an unusually close bond as co-performers in the "Sugar and Spice" comedy revue headquartered at the Bealeton Library, Sugar serving as the straight foil to Spice’s "funny man" routine. Sugar lived by the motto "the show must go on," but sadly it went on only so long.
Sugar, who kept his male gender a secret until his death, was aptly named not only because of his white albino coat, but also because of his sweet and self-effacing personality. Although he shredded several times as much cardboard during his short life as Spice did, he never boasted of the fact. His generous nature led him to become an organ donor: his powerful front teeth and beady red eyes will go to another gerbil in need.
Sugar’s passing was marked by one controversy: the local chapter of GNAWERS (Gerbil National Association for WEe RodentS) complained that library staff acted insensitively by immediately replacing the gerbils’ glass enclosure with a cage of hermit crabs. Library representatives have assured GNAWERS that no offense was intended: "There is no moral equivalency between crabs and gerbils." They promise that new gerbils will be hired shortly.
No funeral is planned; those wishing to commemorate Sugar's life may contribute to GNAWERS or to the Bealeton Library Gerbil Replacement Fund.