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Chipmunk dines on miniature meals in freelance writer's backyard

Freelance food writer Angela Hansberger says at the start of the pandemic she had pervasive anxiety. To combat that, she found a unique way to keep busy.

ATLANTA — Angela Hansberger is used to writing about restaurant openings, either packed inside with customers or in the kitchen with the chef. All of that came to a halt once COVID-19 came to the United States, turning her restaurant hopping into zoom meetings.

Then, an idea came to her after her uncle sent her a handmade wooden table. When she put it in her backyard in April, she noticed a chipmunk sitting on it like a little person.

So, Hansberger fed it some nuts and he kept coming back like clockwork between 9-11:30 a.m.

"I just started trying to recreate the things I missed," Hansberger said. "Sometimes in the afternoon I'll see him waiting at the table for a second meal."

It's easy to see why it kept coming back — Hansberger created elaborate meals. From ramen, to sushi and berry pizza, this chipmunk eats like a king. 

"Taking the knowledge of cooking but then trying to make it healthful and good for a chipmunk, it used up a lot of my creativity," Hansberger said.

She even sets the stage for a high-dining experience, though it's not the most polite guest — the chipmunk will steal everything on the table, goblets, bowls and all.

"I found this little goblet and I had it up there, we made a bar so I had it up against the bar," Hansberger said. "He took a flag one day. I had a pendant flag and he carried it off with his little hands into his hole."

Now they've got their routine set, and the chipmunk has become quite the phenomenon on social media after Hansberger set up an account for her furry friend.

"I just wanted to show somebody or tell somebody, because I was here alone," Hansberger.

Now, she's looking forward to Thanksgiving. If these other meals are any indication, it'll be quite the spread. 

Hansberger says she makes all of the meals out of nuts, veggies and fruit. The chipmunk is pretty picky, though, so she has to be careful which veggies she puts in.

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