As stupid as they were, Zikri still loved them. If only they weren't so flighty and indecisive. Like now. Here were two of them, for example, on his back screeching and laughing and pulling on his ears. They were pointing up the beach, no, down the beach, no, up to the village of palm frond roofs and hearty banana plants. Zikri liked the last destination best - for the banana tree with its sweet leaves and delectable fruit was his absolute favorite. An image of himself wrapping his trunk around a juicy banana plant, albeit surrepticiously, uprooting the entire thing, and stuffing it in his mouth was too overwhelming to disregard.
Zikri made a decisive pivot toward snack-time and headed up toward the village. The pair of tourists on his back were entirely complacent with his decision, as was Tam, his very own human, who had always been indulgent since Zikri was brought to the island as an orphaned baby from the wild.
At that very moment, the tiny yet immensely powerful warning lobe in every elephant's brain within 100 miles exploded with sound and vibration, sending flight signals through every nerve and muscle fiber of their bodies. Zikri reached for Tam, the one human he loved deeply. He wasn't there. Tam, sweet but dumb, was rushing with the other humans toward the vast display of shells and fish left behind by a rapidly receding ocean.
Zikri fought against a mechanism that had been in place since the woolly mammoths. An instinct for personal survival that was so strong, he almost abandoned Tam to run with his now awestruck and silent riders for the island's tallest mountain.
Instead, Zikri charged into the waterless ocean, his feet sinking, then sucking out until he reached Tam whose astonished face quickly dissolved into a mask of understanding, then fear. Zikri and Tam could communicate by look and touch. Like siblings, they had grown up together.
Tam scrambled up his trunk and onto his back scooting the tourists behind him. There was really no need to shout, "Run, Zikri! Run!", but he did and Zikri ran.
Zikri ran like the wind blows. He ran past the dogs, the goats, the pigs, and the cats and monkeys. He crashed up the mountain's jungle through vines and trees, over slippery boulders, and around overhangs. But still the tsunami waters came.
Zikri, Tam and the tourists cried together as the wave overtook them on the highest island mountain of the Indian Ocean.
Zikri's mom was holding some kind of fruit in her trunk and waving it under his nostrils when he 'woke up'. He was on his feet in a flash and entwined his trunk with his mom's and was feeling an indescribable joy and happiness coursing through him. His mom knew he had questions. Zikri had always been an inquisitive baby, but immediately at hand was joining him with his ancestors. She led him away, their trunks touching.
Zikri walked with his mom on this sunny day through plains and jungles, deserts and coastlines, all brimming with ease and life. He saw an albatross and huge herds of wild bison. A pterodactyl skimmed the treetops above a dozing pack of sabre-tooth tigers. Zikri even spotted Tam with his long-dead relatives laughing around a campfire.
When they reached the herd of mammoths, Zikri saw a huge, smiling tyranosaurus rex cavorting with a trio of komodo dragons. He looked questioningly at his mom.
"Yes, sweetheart," she said. "There are dinosaurs in heaven, and we are all in the family from Earth."