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Kids leave messages for Schlow’s dearly departed gecko

Lucy the leopard gecko in the children’s section at Schlow Centre Region Library died recently and children have been leaving notes for her and learning how to grieve.
Lucy the leopard gecko in the children’s section at Schlow Centre Region Library died recently and children have been leaving notes for her and learning how to grieve. adrey@centredaily.com

Lucy the leopard gecko did not leave much behind when she died.

Some miniscule plants, two unremarkable rocks and a faded photo backdrop of what may or may not be Arizona were all that comprised her estate after two years in the children’s department at Schlow Centre Region Library.

She valued experiences over material possessions.

She often chose to sleep where the kids could see either her nose or her tail, which I thought was very sweet of her.

Paula Bannon

“Lucy was an avid consumer of crickets and liked to bask underneath her favorite yellow rock where her tank was the warmest. She often chose to sleep where the kids could see either her nose or her tail, which I thought was very sweet of her,” Paula Bannon, head of children’s services, said.

Bannon was one of the people who knew Lucy best. Fame creates barriers and much of Lucy’s time in the library was spent trapped behind the walls of her own celebrity, which on second glance might have been a terrarium.

“Our library kids loved to visit Lucy. Many would come into the children’s department and go to greet her right away or remember to say goodbye to her before they left,” Bannon said. “If a child was lucky enough to see Lucy go for a stroll through her terrarium, their excitement would always draw a crowd.”

Many would come into the children's department and go to greet her right away or remember to say goodbye to her before they left.

Paula Bannon

Those same fans continue to visit Lucy’s now vacant home, often leaving behind a note in remembrance of their fallen idol.

Their tributes range from charmingly specific (“I miss you when you eat grasshoppers”) to downright spiritual (“I hope you saw God,”), while some just seem confused (“I love you Lucy. I see that you disap… I mean died”).

Bannon said the library has several books available for families looking to help children through the grieving process.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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