Dear AGS Members,

As I write this, my first official communication as the new editor of Gerbil Tales, I am supervising an introduction between two eight week old pups (Barry and Billy, AKA “The White Boys”) and an exceedingly patient adult male Agouti, Willy-Harry, whose brother passed away. My faithful cat, Tabby, lies close by, enjoying the spectacle of busy digging and scurrying, and mulling her own secret thoughts about the whole affair. Downstairs, our parakeet is chirping loudly; outside my daughters and husband are carving a pumpkin. Elsewhere in the house, eleven other gerbils, another cat, and one visiting hamster are going about their business. Another routine day at Shawsheen River Gerbils!

We have been involved with the AGS only since June, 2003 when we found ourselves with one remaining sister from a clan of three gerbils we’d adopted at a 4-H show. As luck would have it, a Google search led me to Donna Anastasi. It turned out Donna was too busy to show us her gerbils that weekend because – of all things – she was officiating at the AGS Show in Nashua, New Hampshire. But, she pointed out, we could consider just stopping by – there just might be a gerbil there we would like to adopt!

You probably don’t need much more of the story to guess the ending. Not only did we come home with 2 gerbils that day, our gerbil hobby has grown to include a little breeding in conjunction with Donna’s ABC Gerbils, plus support for teachers in our elementary school who have adopted our gerbils for their classrooms. I am delighted to be able to contribute to the AGS’s good work by editing Gerbil Tales. I’m also pleased to welcome my daughter, Ruth, as the author of a new column, Ask Ruth, a forum for kids to exchange information about their gerbils in a Q&A format. Ruth is 10 years old and has her own newsletter, Gerbilmania.

I’ve received lots of great ideas and wonderful support from AGS members already, and I am very much looking forward to working with you in this new role. You can contact me any time at Please send your ideas, articles, artwork, suggestions and criticisms. Together we’ll continue the fine tradition of the AGS for an informative, educational and enjoyable newsletter.

Willy and the White Boys have snuggled up for a nap, so I’ll chalk off two successful introductions completed today! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be your new editor.


Libby Hanna

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