A woman has opened an adorable restaurant for a tiny chipmunk who regularly visits her porch — complete with a bar, stools, and even a piano.
Angela English Hansberger, 50, from Tucker, Georgia, started the project after her job was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and credits it with helping her deal with lockdown anxiety.
The idea came to Angela in early April after her uncle Ed sent her a miniature wooden picnic table that was meant to be placed in a tree to attract squirrels.
The high life: Angela English Hansberger, 50, from Tucker, Georgia, has created a tiny restaurant for the chipmunk that visits her front porch during lockdown
Night out: Angela’s husband later built the chipmunk a bar where he can hang out
Memories: Angela’s friend Brett got her furry friend a piano because they used to go to a jazz night at a sushi restaurant before the pandemic
But the writer, who has been covering the food and beverage industry for 10 years, decided to put it on her front porch instead, along with a few walnuts.
Within minutes, she got a visit from her cute furry friend, whom she has named ‘Thelonious Munk.’
‘When I first saw the chipmunk, he was sitting there like a tiny person — his hands resting on the table,’ Andrea told Jam Press.
‘I went to the pantry and gave him some nuts leftover from a holiday pie. He ate them as I watched and giggled. Then I started feeding him every day.’
Angela soon added a tablecloth, a tiny cocktail umbrella, and a vase made out of a discarded piece of plastic to the table. She was inspired to make him the sort of meals she missed having when she went out to dinner before the pandemic.
Beginning: Angela started the project after her job was put on hold due to the pandemic
Brilliant: The idea came to Angela in early April after her uncle Ed sent her a miniature wooden picnic table that was meant to be placed in a tree to attract squirrels
New friend: The writer put the table on her porch for the chipmunk that would come by, and the project grew from there
Too cute: Angela named the chipmunk Thelonious Munk and started feeding him daily, making him elaborate meals out of berries, grains, and veggies
‘He comes between 9 a.m. and 11.30 a.m.,’ she said. ‘I feed him once a day. Sometimes he comes out in the evening and I give him a snack.
‘He is often sitting at the table in the morning before I have food ready for him. Sometimes he gets on the table, but most days he sits like a respectable diner.’
Angela admitted that her furry friend will steal bowls, glassware, and the occasional decoration, but she doesn’t mind. It actually makes her ‘giggle.’
As for the menu, Thelonious Munk is treated to a feast of ramen, tacos, burgers and fries, spaghetti and salad, as well as ‘sushi’ (grains of rice, carrot, peach skins, seaweed, and grated ginger) and ‘pizza’ (almond flour crust, smashed raspberries and slivered almonds).
‘I make almost everything from nuts, berries, grains, and veggies and herbs that come from my garden,’ she explained. ‘When all this started, I researched what chipmunks like to eat, what is harmful to them, and what their diet consists of.
Added touch: Angela also decided to make the chipmunk a campsite because her ‘favorite place to hang out is by a campfire’
Miniature meals: Angela has made the chipmunk everything from tiny tacos to sushi
He’s a regular! Thelonius comes by to eat once a day between 9 a.m. and 11.30 a.m
How fun for him: Angela has a little stove and skillets for the chipmunk to enjoy
‘I don’t feed him very much because chipmunks can be hoarders and I don’t feed him by hand. I want him to still be wild and cautious. I sometimes hide nuts and things so he can forage on his own.’
Over time, Angela began to add more and more items to her little restaurant, which reminded her of the things she loved to do before the pandemic struck.
‘The piano showed up on my porch from my friend Brett,’ she said. ‘We used to go to jazz night at a sushi restaurant and he thought Thelonious needed a proper instrument.
‘The mailbox I built it out of cardboard and sticks and painted it. It came about when the postal system was at risk. I sent some tiny letters to some favorite little people in my life, all “from” the chipmunk.’
Angela also decided to make the chipmunk a campsite because her ‘favorite place to hang out is by a campfire.’
Feeling better: Angela explained that watching her furry friend eat and play has brought her a sense of comfort while dealing with the stress of the pandemic
Distraction: ‘The focus involved with making things tiny takes away the creeping anxiety, at least for a while,’ she said. ‘He became a coping mechanism for me’
Makes sense: She build him a bar because she missed going out and having cocktails
No worries: Angela admitted that her furry friend will steal bowls, glassware, and the occasional decoration, but she doesn’t mind
New look: Angela changes up the chipmunks ‘restaurant’ using miniature rugs, grills, and tablecloths
‘Glued rocks from the garden and sticks make up the campfire,’ she said. ‘I put everything on moss from the yard. He loved running in and out of the tent.’
Meanwhile, her husband built Thelonious Munk a bar that was stained with tea and painted with a chipmunk stencil. To make the barstools, he used scraps of leather.
‘Cocktails are a big part of my job and I miss eating and drinking at the bar,’ she explained. ‘The moment I set it outside, he jumped on a stool.’
Angela said that watching the chipmunk enjoying his meals and miniature outdoor area brought her joy during an otherwise dark time.
‘As I grew more anxious, because of much less work, being isolated, the tumultuous election, and a pandemic, I looked to the chipmunk for comfort,’ she said.
‘I drank my morning tea or coffee while watching him eat. I focused nervous energy on crafting a meal that reminded me of things I missed.
Safety first: Angela researched what chipmunks like to eat, what is harmful to them, and what their diet consists of so she’d know what to feed him
Looks good: Almost everything she fees him is made out of nuts, berries, grains, and veggies and herbs from her garden
Popular: Angela, who has over 15,000 followers on Instagram, said people have grown to love the chipmunk
Fans: ‘I have received messages from people all over the world — such kind notes about how watching him has brought a bit of happiness to their lives,’ she said
‘Tis the season: People recently commented on a festive picture that shows Thelonious Munk at his tiny picnic table, surrounded by Christmas items
‘The focus involved with making things tiny takes away the creeping anxiety, at least for a while. He became a coping mechanism for me.’
Angela, who has over 15,000 followers on Instagram, added: ‘In the beginning, people thought I was a bit loony but they have grown to love him’
‘I have received messages from people all over the world — such kind notes about how watching him has brought a bit of happiness to their lives.
‘It’s a wonderful feeling. My dad always said, “Do all things with love,” and that is how I have approached this. To get love back is the icing on the cake.’
People recently commented on a festive picture that shows Thelonious Munk at his tiny picnic table, surrounded by Christmas items.
‘Just wonderful! I love your account,’ one person wrote, while another said: ‘An uplifting scene & reel. Thank you!’
‘What wonderful friends and I can’t stand how cute this is,’ someone else added.