Dan Barker’s “little friend”

I’m not the only atheist who’s tamed wild rodents! This video by Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, was on his Facebook page this morning, but I persuaded him to put it on YouTube so I could embed it. On his FB page was this caption:

I have a little friend. The past 2 years, while reading and writing in the back yard, my 17 millionth cousin has been keeping me company.

He added in an email:

Darwin dug up worms in his backyard; I’m observing chipmunks.  There are three other chipmunks out there who are not as brave. Yet.

We have a challenge here for reader Diana MacPherson, who feeds chipmunks, but not by hand. . .

Look at him pack those peanuts into his cheeks!


  1. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    A New View on Lyme Disease: Rodents Hold the Key to Annual Risk
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0040182

    • GBJames
      Posted September 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      That is interesting.

  2. Posted September 9, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I remember reading and being very impressed by Barker’s account of his journey from fundamentalist preacher to strong atheist. This little video is also very enjoyable.

  3. rickflick
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see much chewing going on. My guess is she’s stuffing her elastic cheeks to get them to a safer place for mastication.

    • Posted September 9, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      See what I wrote below video.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 9, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Oh, missed it. I think we’re both right. Except only one of us is right about the gender. 😎

  4. Alan GE
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    You must’ve seen the video with the cat playing with the young monkey swinging on a branch.
    It’s great!

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    “You wanna play games? … ok … SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!”

    Tony Montana

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Awwww that’s cute and he gets to pay the chipmunk too!

    I refrain from feeding my chipmunks by hand because I want to keep them afraid so my dog doesn’t harm them even though she’s soft mouthed. I used to feed chipmunks by hand at another house and I’d give them nuts in the shell.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 9, 2016 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Pat the chipmunk not pay. But I guess the peanuts could be pay for pats.

      • Wunold
        Posted September 10, 2016 at 2:20 am | Permalink

        That were my thoughts watching it. The chipmunk seemed absolutely uninterested in the petting, only the nuts mattered. It ran away the instant all nuts were pocketed.

  7. Andrea Kenner
    Posted September 10, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Nom nom nom

  8. chrism
    Posted September 10, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    My chipmunks have thinned down to three, but all are willing to eat from my hand. I find myself putting out whole peanuts to keep the squirrel distracted so he doesn’t chase the chipmunks off their sunflower seeds. The chickadees have started coming to my hand too, and also prefer sunflower seeds to millet, which surprised me.
    One chipmunk got himself into a fight and was badly wounded, with large puncture wounds on his flank and face. They swelled up like tumours with pus under the skin, but he managed to keep eating and is now mending. He has bald patches where the scar tissue is on his haunch, and he is growing fur back on his face – he had scratched it all off with the irritation of the wound (they have pink skin!) At first he had to store seeds only in his right cheek as the left side was, presumably, too sore. A disadvantage to have to make twice as many trips back to the burrow with your winter stores. But he can now fill both sides and and I’m amazed he has come back from the sorry mess he was at first. If it was a cat or a raccoon that got him he’s lucky to have got away at all.

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