Dad was friendly as he usually was, so he said "Hello there Alf. How are you today?"
Alfie was a little surprised to see us this early, yet calmly responded "I'm great, as I am every day sir, thank you for asking."
Dad, upon seeing his surprised reaction felt like he was interrupting something, so he just touched my cheeks and signaled me to gulp down the clear water ahead, "as much as you want son," he smiled, awkwardly.
I let down my trunk and started slurping the water, but my eyes were all set on Alfie. I wondered what he intended to do with those leaves he was busy picking up every day. Once Alfie was done picking up leaves, he chunked them all in the big basket, too big I thought I'd be caged for life if I ever ended up in there.
Dad whispered to my ears that it wasn't nice to stare, so he told me that it was time to go. I hadn't quenched my thirst yet but I believed Dad understood because he smirked and ensured me that we would come back when the sun stood over the hills.
When we turned around Alfie suddenly burst into a fit of laughter and we couldn't help it but to turn our heads and see what was going on. "Look! I'm going to climb on these steps and go inside this basket. And,"
there he went, crawling really slowly on those wooden steps,
Still climbing, he was. It took so long I thought the water was getting shallower.
"And," Alfie uttered out of air for the 30th time,
"Tadaah! I am now inside this basket!" He paused and took a long breath. "But without the leaves, you can't see me for the walls would have covered me. So I had to collect leaves and stuffed the base of this basket. Now you can see my head peeking over this tower! I am a genius. So imagine all of you drinking or doing whatever you want down there and here I am, watching, like a hawk I am though I am not. I am simply genius," and once again cracked at his own joke.
At least that was what I thought, but Dad wasn't smiling.
Alfie went quiet and then, talking to himself, he questioned if he could move his basket a little to his right because he couldn't see a small part of the lake. My Dad held my back and asked me to walk away quietly.
I asked my Dad why we weren't helping him and Dad whispered to me that some animals would prefer picking their baskets around on their own. I frowned, I knew he couldn't possibly shift his basket alone especially when he was sitting in it!
And as we walked away, I noticed the sun stood over the hills.
P/S: A dedication to those who have forgotten their roots.