This is the tale of a yellow bunny and his Easter teatime. No, he’s not a live bunny. He’s stuffed and soft and plush and has a cute yellow ribbon bowtie. Even so, he loves having tea out in the sunshine. This is especially true at Easter time.
It’s the time of year when Spring has sprung. That means sleeping daffodils have awakened and stretched up their green arms and yellow and white bloom heads into the fresh Spring air. They’re always the early show offs, their bright petals dotting a landscape still hued with the dull browns and grays of Winter. It’s also when the cardinals, bluejays, and house wrens are flitting and singing, the males trying to attract a mate, the females scoping out the best nest sites. And the squirrels are running about to find the last of the nuts they buried during the past Fall and twigs to rebuild their nests ravaged by winds and storms.
Best of all, this is the time when tea growers are out in the fields gathering that first flush (the first harvest of the growing season). Those wonderful tea plants (Camellia Sinensis) slumber during the Winter, just as many of the plants in your yard and garden do. The very thought of this first harvest gets the yellow bunny all excited and starts him planning his tea party in the great outdoors.
The tea of choice: a first flush Darjeeling. It’s flavor is lighter and more delicate than the second and autumnal flushes, where more complex tastes have had time to develop. He steeps up a cupful and gets ready to head outside into the nearest flower bed, bringing along his favorite teatime treat (fresh, crispy carrot sticks of course!).
Settled in the flower bed next to a tall batch of bright yellow daffodils, like little suns bobbing in the light breeze on their bright green stems, the yellow bunny munched on his carrot sticks, sipped his Darjeeling tea, and watched the antics of “critters” in the garden. A ladybug or two came by, but they were shy and hurried on. A caterpillar inched across the flower bed edge but didn’t even stop to say “Hi!” in his search for tender green leaves to chomp on. The birds were too busy singing and flying from tree branch to tree branch. Only a neighborhood cat, hoping that the bunny was a real live rabbit, stopped by for a few moments. But the tea was too hot and didn’t have any milk in it and the carrots were too crispy and didn’t taste like bird or fish or rabbit and the bunny was all stuffing and velvet, so the cat went on his way.
When the tea was all gone and the carrots had all been munched into oblivion, the yellow bunny sat for awhile longer. He felt the breeze flopping his ears ever so gently. He watched a couple of fluffy clouds take the shape of fellow bunnies and then morph into dragons or grasshoppers or big cloud carrots. Eventually, he fell asleep and dreamed of verdant tea fields with crews of tea pluckers pulling off those tender first flush leaves from the tea bushes. Then, they processed the leaves and put some in a large teapot, filled it with hot water, steeped the tea, and poured a never ending stream into the bunny’s teacup. His whiskers quivered while he dreamed (some say it was just the breeze blowing them, but I know better).
Soon, the warmth of the afternoon sun faded away and the shadows grew longer. Time for the yellow bunny to head back indoors and have another hot cuppa tea. Until next time…
Read more great posts on A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!