Black or Green or Orange Pekoe?

“Drink your tea!”

He bellows the imperative from the top of Lemansky’s Bradford Pear, three houses down. I am casually riding my bike and can’t resist stopping to look for him, as he hides behind thick green leaves. He says it again. Then he jumps to the ground and runs over to Jan’s yard, ducking behind her air conditioning unit.

He wears a black hood. His eyes are red.

“Drink your tea-e-e-e-e-e!” He sings it, the second note lower, the third higher, ending in a falsetto trill.

He forages on the ground. He flicks his tail as he hops. It has a white mark at the tip of it and it makes for a nice show as he does a jig.

He’s an Eastern Towhee. He looks like a big robin. He makes a memorable sound that mimics real words and draws a smile on my face every time.

“Drink your tea-e-e-e-e-e!”


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