It could be any ordinary evening at Alfie's snugly helter-skelter house--with Mom and Dad off to a party, ""the MacNally's daughter, Maureen,"" come to baby-sit, and Alfie and little Annie Rose ready for bed. Hughes so insinuates us into the scene, with her confiding, storyteller's voice and her keenly characterized figures, her vibrantly furnished interior, that any small incident becomes an event. After Maureen has read Alfie ""the story about Noah and his ark full of animals,"" Alfie hears a drip-drip-drip in the hallway, that gets quicker and louder. ""A burst pipe,"" says Maureen, who has aspirations to become a plumber. When pails and bowls overflow, Maureen calls her mother; when Annie Rose is awake and crying, and the floor is a awash with puddles (and Alfie has thoughts of Noah's ark), Maureen goes to fetch her father, to turn off the water at the main. ""Soon the water stopped pouring down through the ceiling, splash! splash! splash! and became a drip-drip, drip-drip, drip-drip, and then a drip. . . drip. . . . . drip. . . . . . . . drip. . . . . . . . . . and then it stopped altogether."" Alfie gives Annie Rose a consoling pat; Mrs. MacNally changes her diaper; Mr. MacNally plays with her. And she and Alfie are asleep together on the couch when Mom and Dad return. Family feeling, neighborly feeling, the drama of the dripping water, the real-life interest of the burst pipe and the shutoff valve: An Evening at Alfie's is to relish.