Tantissimi classici della letteratura e della cultura politica,
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Abbe Prevost - MANON LESCAUT
Alcott, Louisa M. - AN OLDFASHIONED GIRL
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE MEN
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE WOMEN
Alcott, Louisa May - JACK AND JILL
Alcott, Louisa May - LIFE LETTERS AND JOURNALS
Andersen, Hans Christian - FAIRY TALES
Anonimo - BEOWULF
Ariosto, Ludovico - ORLANDO ENRAGED
Aurelius, Marcus - MEDITATIONS
Austen, Jane - EMMA
Austen, Jane - MANSFIELD PARK
Austen, Jane - NORTHANGER ABBEY
Austen, Jane - PERSUASION
Austen, Jane - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Austen, Jane - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Authors, Various - LETTERS OF ABELARD AND HELOISE
Authors, Various - SELECTED ENGLISH LETTERS
Autori Vari - THE WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE
Bacon, Francis - THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
Balzac, Honore de - EUGENIE GRANDET
Balzac, Honore de - FATHER GORIOT
Baroness Orczy - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
Barrie, J. M. - PETER AND WENDY
Barrie, James M. - PETER PAN
Bierce, Ambrose - THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
Blake, William - SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE
Boccaccio, Giovanni - DECAMERONE
Brent, Linda - INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL
Bronte, Charlotte - JANE EYRE
Bronte, Charlotte - VILLETTE
Buchan, John - GREENMANTLE
Buchan, John - MR STANDFAST
Buchan, John - THE 39 STEPS
Bunyan, John - THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Burckhardt, Jacob - THE CIVILIZATION OF THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
Burnett, Frances H. - A LITTLE PRINCESS
Burnett, Frances H. - LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
Burnett, Frances H. - THE SECRET GARDEN
Butler, Samuel - EREWHON
Carlyle, Thomas - PAST AND PRESENT
Carlyle, Thomas - THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Cellini, Benvenuto - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Cervantes - DON QUIXOTE
Chaucer, Geoffrey - THE CANTERBURY TALES
Chesterton, G. K. - A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLAND
Chesterton, G. K. - THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE
Chesterton, G. K. - THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY
Chesterton, G. K. - THE WISDOM OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - TWELVE TYPES
Chesterton, G. K. - WHAT I SAW IN AMERICA
Chesterton, Gilbert K. - HERETICS
Chopin, Kate - AT FAULT
Chopin, Kate - BAYOU FOLK
Chopin, Kate - THE AWAKENING AND SELECTED SHORT STORIES
Clark Hall, John R. - A CONCISE ANGLOSAXON DICTIONARY
Clarkson, Thomas - AN ESSAY ON THE SLAVERY AND COMMERCE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES
Clausewitz, Carl von - ON WAR
Coleridge, Herbert - A DICTIONARY OF THE FIRST OR OLDEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH
Coleridge, S. T. - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Coleridge, S. T. - HINTS TOWARDS THE FORMATION OF A MORE COMPREHENSIVE THEORY
Coleridge, S. T. - THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
Collins, Wilkie - THE MOONSTONE
Collodi - PINOCCHIO
Conan Doyle, Arthur - A STUDY IN SCARLET
Conan Doyle, Arthur - MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE SIGN OF THE FOUR
Conrad, Joseph - HEART OF DARKNESS
Conrad, Joseph - LORD JIM
Conrad, Joseph - NOSTROMO
Conrad, Joseph - THE NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS
Conrad, Joseph - TYPHOON
Crane, Stephen - LAST WORDS
Crane, Stephen - MAGGIE
Crane, Stephen - THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
Crane, Stephen - WOUNDS IN THE RAIN
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: HELL
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PARADISE
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PURGATORY
Darwin, Charles - THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES DARWIN
Darwin, Charles - THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Defoe, Daniel - A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE PYRATES
Defoe, Daniel - A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
Defoe, Daniel - CAPTAIN SINGLETON
Defoe, Daniel - MOLL FLANDERS
Defoe, Daniel - ROBINSON CRUSOE
Defoe, Daniel - THE COMPLETE ENGLISH TRADESMAN
Defoe, Daniel - THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE
Deledda, Grazia - AFTER THE DIVORCE
Dickens, Charles - A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Dickens, Charles - A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Dickens, Charles - BLEAK HOUSE
Dickens, Charles - DAVID COPPERFIELD
Dickens, Charles - DONBEY AND SON
Dickens, Charles - GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Dickens, Charles - HARD TIMES
Dickens, Charles - LETTERS VOLUME 1
Dickens, Charles - LITTLE DORRIT
Dickens, Charles - MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
Dickens, Charles - NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Dickens, Charles - OLIVER TWIST
Dickens, Charles - OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
Dickens, Charles - PICTURES FROM ITALY
Dickens, Charles - THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
Dickens, Charles - THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
Dickens, Charles - THE PICKWICK PAPERS
Dickinson, Emily - POEMS
Dostoevsky, Fyodor - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
Du Maurier, George - TRILBY
Dumas, Alexandre - THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
Dumas, Alexandre - THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
Dumas, Alexandre - THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Eliot, George - DANIEL DERONDA
Eliot, George - MIDDLEMARCH
Eliot, George - SILAS MARNER
Eliot, George - THE MILL ON THE FLOSS
Engels, Frederick - THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING-CLASS IN ENGLAND IN 1844
Equiano - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Esopo - FABLES
Fenimore Cooper, James - THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Fielding, Henry - TOM JONES
France, Anatole - THAIS
France, Anatole - THE GODS ARE ATHIRST
France, Anatole - THE LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC
France, Anatole - THE SEVEN WIVES OF BLUEBEARD
Frank Baum, L. - THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ
Frank Baum, L. - THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
Franklin, Benjamin - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Frazer, James George - THE GOLDEN BOUGH
Freud, Sigmund - DREAM PSYCHOLOGY
Galsworthy, John - COMPLETE PLAYS
Galsworthy, John - STRIFE
Galsworthy, John - STUDIES AND ESSAYS
Galsworthy, John - THE FIRST AND THE LAST
Galsworthy, John - THE FORSYTE SAGA
Galsworthy, John - THE LITTLE MAN
Galsworthy, John - THE SILVER BOX
Galsworthy, John - THE SKIN GAME
Gaskell, Elizabeth - CRANFORD
Gaskell, Elizabeth - MARY BARTON
Gaskell, Elizabeth - NORTH AND SOUTH
Gaskell, Elizabeth - THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE
Gay, John - THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
Gentile, Maria - THE ITALIAN COOK BOOK
Gilbert and Sullivan - PLAYS
Goethe - FAUST
Gogol - DEAD SOULS
Goldsmith, Oliver - SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Goldsmith, Oliver - THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
Grahame, Kenneth - THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Grimm, Brothers - FAIRY TALES
Harding, A. R. - GINSENG AND OTHER MEDICINAL PLANTS
Hardy, Thomas - A CHANGED MAN AND OTHER TALES
Hardy, Thomas - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Hardy, Thomas - JUDE THE OBSCURE
Hardy, Thomas - TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
Hardy, Thomas - THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
Hartley, Cecil B. - THE GENTLEMEN'S BOOK OF ETIQUETTE
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - LITTLE MASTERPIECES
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - THE SCARLET LETTER
Henry VIII - LOVE LETTERS TO ANNE BOLEYN
Henry, O. - CABBAGES AND KINGS
Henry, O. - SIXES AND SEVENS
Henry, O. - THE FOUR MILLION
Henry, O. - THE TRIMMED LAMP
Henry, O. - WHIRLIGIGS
Hindman Miller, Gustavus - TEN THOUSAND DREAMS INTERPRETED
Hobbes, Thomas - LEVIATHAN
Homer - THE ILIAD
Homer - THE ODYSSEY
Hornaday, William T. - THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON
Hume, David - A TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE
Hume, David - AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
Hume, David - DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION
Ibsen, Henrik - A DOLL'S HOUSE
Ibsen, Henrik - AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
Ibsen, Henrik - GHOSTS
Ibsen, Henrik - HEDDA GABLER
Ibsen, Henrik - JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN
Ibsen, Henrik - ROSMERHOLM
Ibsen, Henrik - THE LADY FROM THE SEA
Ibsen, Henrik - THE MASTER BUILDER
Ibsen, Henrik - WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN
Irving, Washington - THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
James, Henry - ITALIAN HOURS
James, Henry - THE ASPERN PAPERS
James, Henry - THE BOSTONIANS
James, Henry - THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY
James, Henry - THE TURN OF THE SCREW
James, Henry - WASHINGTON SQUARE
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN IN A BOAT
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN ON THE BUMMEL
Jevons, Stanley - POLITICAL ECONOMY
Johnson, Samuel - A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH TONGUE
Jonson, Ben - THE ALCHEMIST
Jonson, Ben - VOLPONE
Joyce, James - A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
Joyce, James - CHAMBER MUSIC
Joyce, James - DUBLINERS
Joyce, James - ULYSSES
Keats, John - ENDYMION
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1817
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1820
King James - THE BIBLE
Kipling, Rudyard - CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS
Kipling, Rudyard - INDIAN TALES
Kipling, Rudyard - JUST SO STORIES
Kipling, Rudyard - KIM
Kipling, Rudyard - THE JUNGLE BOOK
Kipling, Rudyard - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
Kipling, Rudyard - THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK
Lawrence, D. H - THE RAINBOW
Lawrence, D. H - THE WHITE PEACOCK
Lawrence, D. H - TWILIGHT IN ITALY
Lawrence, D. H. - AARON'S ROD
Lawrence, D. H. - SONS AND LOVERS
Lawrence, D. H. - THE LOST GIRL
Lawrence, D. H. - WOMEN IN LOVE
Lear, Edward - BOOK OF NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - LAUGHABLE LYRICS
Lear, Edward - MORE NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - NONSENSE SONG
Leblanc, Maurice - ARSENE LUPIN VS SHERLOCK HOLMES
Leblanc, Maurice - THE ADVENTURES OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE CONFESSIONS OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE HOLLOW NEEDLE
Leblanc, Maurice - THE RETURN OF ARSENE LUPIN
Lehmann, Lilli - HOW TO SING
Leroux, Gaston - THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER
Leroux, Gaston - THE MYSTERY OF THE YELLOW ROOM
Leroux, Gaston - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
London, Jack - MARTIN EDEN
London, Jack - THE CALL OF THE WILD
London, Jack - WHITE FANG
Machiavelli, Nicolo' - THE PRINCE
Malthus, Thomas - PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION
Mansfield, Katherine - THE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES
Marlowe, Christopher - THE JEW OF MALTA
Marryat, Captain - THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST
Maupassant, Guy De - BEL AMI
Melville, Hermann - MOBY DICK
Melville, Hermann - TYPEE
Mill, John Stuart - PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
Milton, John - PARADISE LOST
Mitra, S. M. - HINDU TALES FROM THE SANSKRIT
Montaigne, Michel de - ESSAYS
Montgomery, Lucy Maud - ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
More, Thomas - UTOPIA
Nesbit, E. - FIVE CHILDREN AND IT
Nesbit, E. - THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET
Nesbit, E. - THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
Nesbit, E. - THE STORY OF THE AMULET
Newton, Isaac - OPTICKS
Nietsche, Friedrich - BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL
Nietsche, Friedrich - THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Nightingale, Florence - NOTES ON NURSING
Owen, Wilfred - POEMS
Ozaki, Yei Theodora - JAPANESE FAIRY TALES
Pascal, Blaise - PENSEES
Pellico, Silvio - MY TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT
Perrault, Charles - FAIRY TALES
Pirandello, Luigi - THREE PLAYS
Plato - THE REPUBLIC
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 1
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 2
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 3
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 4
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 5
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
Potter, Beatrix - THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
Proust, Marcel - SWANN'S WAY
Radcliffe, Ann - A SICILIAN ROMANCE
Ricardo, David - ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AND TAXATION
Richardson, Samuel - PAMELA
Rider Haggard, H. - ALLAN QUATERMAIN
Rider Haggard, H. - KING SOLOMON'S MINES
Rousseau, J. J. - THE ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OF INEQUALITY AMONG MANKIND
Ruskin, John - THE SEVEN LAMPS OF ARCHITECTURE
Schiller, Friedrich - THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN
Schiller, Friedrich - THE PICCOLOMINI
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE ART OF CONTROVERSY
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE WISDOM OF LIFE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
Scott, Walter - IVANHOE
Scott, Walter - QUENTIN DURWARD
Scott, Walter - ROB ROY
Scott, Walter - THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR
Scott, Walter - WAVERLEY
Sedgwick, Anne Douglas - THE THIRD WINDOW
Sewell, Anna - BLACK BEAUTY
Shakespeare, William - COMPLETE WORKS
Shakespeare, William - HAMLET
Shakespeare, William - OTHELLO
Shakespeare, William - ROMEO AND JULIET
Shelley, Mary - FRANKENSTEIN
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - A DEFENCE OF POETRY AND OTHER ESSAYS
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Sheridan, Richard B. - THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Sienkiewicz, Henryk - QUO VADIS
Smith, Adam - THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
Smollett, Tobias - TRAVELS THROUGH FRANCE AND ITALY
Spencer, Herbert - ESSAYS ON EDUCATION AND KINDRED SUBJECTS
Spyri, Johanna - HEIDI
Sterne, Laurence - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
Sterne, Laurence - TRISTRAM SHANDY
Stevenson, Robert Louis - A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES
Stevenson, Robert Louis - ESSAYS IN THE ART OF WRITING
Stevenson, Robert Louis - KIDNAPPED
Stevenson, Robert Louis - NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE BLACK ARROW
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
Stevenson, Robert Louis - TREASURE ISLAND
Stoker, Bram - DRACULA
Strindberg, August - LUCKY PEHR
Strindberg, August - MASTER OLOF
Strindberg, August - THE RED ROOM
Strindberg, August - THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
Strindberg, August - THERE ARE CRIMES AND CRIMES
Swift, Jonathan - A MODEST PROPOSAL
Swift, Jonathan - A TALE OF A TUB
Swift, Jonathan - GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
Swift, Jonathan - THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS AND OTHER SHORT PIECES
Tagore, Rabindranath - FRUIT GATHERING
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE GARDENER
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE HUNGRY STONES AND OTHER STORIES
Thackeray, William - BARRY LYNDON
Thackeray, William - VANITY FAIR
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE BOOK OF SNOBS
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE ROSE AND THE RING
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE VIRGINIANS
Thoreau, Henry David - WALDEN
Tolstoi, Leo - A LETTER TO A HINDU
Tolstoy, Lev - ANNA KARENINA
Tolstoy, Lev - WAR AND PEACE
Trollope, Anthony - AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Trollope, Anthony - BARCHESTER TOWERS
Trollope, Anthony - FRAMLEY PARSONAGE
Trollope, Anthony - THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS
Trollope, Anthony - THE MAN WHO KEPT HIS MONEY IN A BOX
Trollope, Anthony - THE WARDEN
Trollope, Anthony - THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
Twain, Mark - LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Twain, Mark - SPEECHES
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
Twain, Mark - THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER
Vari, Autori - THE MAGNA CARTA
Verga, Giovanni - SICILIAN STORIES
Verne, Jules - 20000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS
Verne, Jules - A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH
Verne, Jules - ALL AROUND THE MOON
Verne, Jules - AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
Verne, Jules - FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON
Verne, Jules - FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
Verne, Jules - MICHAEL STROGOFF
Verne, Jules - THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
Voltaire - PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY
Vyasa - MAHABHARATA
Wallace, Edgar - SANDERS OF THE RIVER
Wallace, Edgar - THE DAFFODIL MYSTERY
Wallace, Lew - BEN HUR
Webster, Jean - DADDY LONG LEGS
Wedekind, Franz - THE AWAKENING OF SPRING
Wells, H. G. - KIPPS
Wells, H. G. - THE INVISIBLE MAN
Wells, H. G. - THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU
Wells, H. G. - THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER INCIDENTS
Wells, H. G. - THE TIME MACHINE
Wells, H. G. - THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
Wells, H. G. - WHAT IS COMING
Wharton, Edith - THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
White, Andrew Dickson - FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE
Wilde, Oscar - A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Wilde, Oscar - AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Wilde, Oscar - DE PROFUNDIS
Wilde, Oscar - LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
Wilde, Oscar - SALOME
Wilde, Oscar - SELECTED POEMS
Wilde, Oscar - THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL
Wilde, Oscar - THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
Wilde, Oscar - THE HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER TALES
Wilde, Oscar - THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Wilde, Oscar - THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY
Wilde, Oscar - THE SOUL OF MAN
Wilson, Epiphanius - SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST
Wollstonecraft, Mary - A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN
Woolf, Virgina - NIGHT AND DAY
Woolf, Virgina - THE VOYAGE OUT
Woolf, Virginia - JACOB'S ROOM
Woolf, Virginia - MONDAY OR TUESDAY
Wordsworth, William - POEMS
Wordsworth, William - PROSE WORKS
Zola, Emile - THERESE RAQUIN
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ISTRUZIONI D'USO DETTAGLIATE
By JOHANNA SPYRI
Unassuming in plot and style, "Heidi" may none the less lay claim to
rank as a world classic. In the first place, both background and
characters ring true. The air of the Alps is wafted to us in every
page; the house among the pines, the meadows, and the eagle poised
above the naked rocks form a picture that no one could willingly
forget. And the people, from the kindly towns-folk to the quaint and
touching peasant types, are as real as any representation of human
nature need be. Every goat even, has its personality. As for the
little heroine, she is a blessing not only to everyone in the story,
but to everyone who reads it. The narrative merits of the book are too
apparent to call for comment.
As to the author, Johanna Spyri, she has so entirely lost herself in
her creation that we may pass over her career rather rapidly. She was
born in Switzerland in 1829, came of a literary family, and devoted
all her talent to the writing of books for and about children.
Since "Heidi" has been so often translated into English it may well be
asked why there is any need for a new version. The answer lies partly
in the conventional character of the previous translations. Now, if
there is any quality in "Heidi" that gives it a particular charm, that
quality is freshness, absolute spontaneity. To be sure, the story is
so attractive that it could never be wholly spoiled; but has not the
reader the right to enjoy it in English at least very nearly as much
as he could in German? The two languages are so different in nature
that anything like a literal rendering of one into the other is sure
to result in awkwardness and indirectness. Such a book must be not
translated, but re-lived and re-created.
To perform such a feat the writer must, to begin with, be familiar
with the mountains, and able to appreciate with Wordsworth
The silence that is in the starry sky,
The sleep that is among the lonely hills.
The translator of the present version was born and reared in a region
closely similar to that of the story. Her home was originally in the
picturesque town of Salzburg, and her father, Franz von Pausinger, was
one of the greatest landscape painters of his country and generation.
Another equally important requisite is knowledge of children. It
happens that this translator has a daughter just the age of the
heroine, who moreover loves to dress in Tyrolese costume. To translate
"Heidi" was for her therefore a labor of love, which means that the
love contended with and overcame the labor.
The English style of the present version is, then, distinctive. It has
often been noticed that those who acquire a foreign language often
learn to speak it with unusual clearness and purity. For illustration
we need go no further than Joseph Conrad, a Pole, probably the
greatest master of narrative English writing to-day; or to our own
fellow-citizen Carl Schurz. In the present case, the writer has lived
seven years in America and has strengthened an excellent training with
a wide reading of the best English classics.
Many people say that they read without noticing the author's style.
This is seldom quite true; unconsciously every one is impressed in
some way or other by the style of every book, or by its lack of style.
Children are particularly sensitive in this respect and should,
therefore, as much as is practicable, read only the best. In the new
translation of "Heidi" here offered to the public I believe that most
readers will notice an especial flavor, that very quality of delight
in mountain scenes, in mountain people and in child life generally,
which is one of the chief merits of the German original. The phrasing
has also been carefully adapted to the purpose of reading aloud--a
thing that few translators think of. In conclusion, the author,
realising the difference between the two languages, has endeavored to
write the story afresh, as Johanna Spyri would have written it had
English been her native tongue. How successful the attempt has been
the reader will judge.
CHARLES WHARTON STORK
Assistant Professor of English at the
University of Pennsylvania
HEIDI'S YEARS OF LEARNING AND TRAVEL
I. GOING UP TO THE ALM-UNCLE 17
II. WITH THE GRANDFATHER 38
III. ON THE PASTURE 50
IV. IN THE GRANDMOTHER'S HUT 67
V. TWO VISITORS 83
VI. A NEW CHAPTER WITH NEW THINGS 95
VII. MISS ROTTENMEIER HAS AN UNCOMFORTABLE DAY 104
VIII. GREAT DISTURBANCES IN THE SESEMANN HOUSE 119
IX. THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE HEARS OF STRANGE DOINGS 129
X. A GRANDMAMA 136
XI. HEIDI GAINS IN SOME RESPECTS AND LOSES IN OTHERS 146
XII. THE SESEMANN HOUSE IS HAUNTED 153
XIII. UP THE ALP ON A SUMMER EVENING 165
XIV. ON SUNDAY WHEN THE CHURCH BELLS RING 183
HEIDI MAKES USE OF HER EXPERIENCE
XV. PREPARATIONS FOR A JOURNEY 199
XVI. A GUEST ON THE ALP 207
XVII. RETALIATION 219
XVIII. WINTER IN THE VILLAGE 229
XIX. WINTER STILL CONTINUES 243
XX. NEWS FROM DISTANT FRIENDS 252
XXI. ON FURTHER EVENTS ON THE ALP 268
XXII. SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS 276
XXIII. PARTING TO MEET AGAIN 293
WAVING HER HAND AND LOOKING AFTER HER DEPARTING
FRIEND TILL HE LOOKED NO BIGGER THAN A LITTLE
SHE UNDID THE HEAVY SHAWL AND THE TWO LITTLE DRESSES 30
HERE A NEAT LITTLE BED WAS PREPARED 41
SHE HANDED HIM ALSO THE WHOLE SLICE OF CHEESE 57
OFF THEY STARTED AT SUCH A PACE THAT HEIDI SHOUTED FOR
WHEN HEIDI HEARD THAT SHE STRUGGLED TO GET FREE 92
OFF THEY STARTED, AND SOON HEIDI WAS PULLING THE
THERE SHE WOULD REMAIN, EATING HER HEART AWAY WITH
THROWING HERSELF IN HER GRANDFATHER'S ARMS, SHE HELD HIM
WITH HEIDI'S HAND IN HIS THEY WANDERED DOWN TOGETHER 192
THEY ARE COMING, OH, THE DOCTOR IS COMING FIRST 211
THE TWO CHILDREN WERE ALREADY FLYING DOWN THE ALP 241
HE WATCHED HIS FALLEN ENEMY TUMBLING DOWNWARDS,
PETER SHOT OFF AND RUSHED DOWN THE MOUNTAIN-SIDE,
TURNING WILD SOMERSAULTS ON HIS PERILOUS WAY 298
Heidi's Years of Learning and Travel
GOING UP TO THE ALM-UNCLE
The little old town of Mayenfeld is charmingly situated. From it a
footpath leads through green, well-wooded stretches to the foot of the
heights which look down imposingly upon the valley. Where the footpath
begins to go steeply and abruptly up the Alps, the heath, with its
short grass and pungent herbage, at once sends out its soft perfume to
meet the wayfarer.
One bright sunny morning in June, a tall, vigorous maiden of the
mountain region climbed up the narrow path, leading a little girl by
the hand. The youngster's cheeks were in such a glow that it showed
even through her sun-browned skin. Small wonder though! for in spite
of the heat, the little one, who was scarcely five years old, was
bundled up as if she had to brave a bitter frost. Her shape was
difficult to distinguish, for she wore two dresses, if not three, and
around her shoulders a large red cotton shawl. With her feet encased
in heavy hob-nailed boots, this hot and shapeless little person toiled
up the mountain.
The pair had been climbing for about an hour when they reached a
hamlet half-way up the great mountain named the Alm. This hamlet was
called "Im Dörfli" or "The Little Village." It was the elder girl's
home town, and therefore she was greeted from nearly every house;
people called to her from windows and doors, and very often from the
road. But, answering questions and calls as she went by, the girl did
not loiter on her way and only stood still when she reached the end of
the hamlet. There a few cottages lay scattered about, from the
furthest of which a voice called out to her through an open door:
"Deta, please wait one moment! I am coming with you, if you are going
When the girl stood still to wait, the child instantly let go her hand
and promptly sat down on the ground.
"Are you tired, Heidi?" Deta asked the child.
"No, but hot," she replied.
"We shall be up in an hour, if you take big steps and climb with all
your little might!" Thus the elder girl tried to encourage her small
A stout, pleasant-looking woman stepped out of the house and joined
the two. The child had risen and wandered behind the old
acquaintances, who immediately started gossiping about their friends
in the neighborhood and the people of the hamlet generally.
"Where are you taking the child, Deta?" asked the newcomer. "Is she
the child your sister left?"
"Yes," Deta assured her; "I am taking her up to the Alm-Uncle and
there I want her to remain."
"You can't really mean to take her there Deta. You must have lost your
senses, to go to him. I am sure the old man will show you the door and
won't even listen to what you say."
"Why not? As he's her grandfather, it is high time he should do
something for the child. I have taken care of her until this summer
and now a good place has been offered to me. The child shall not
hinder me from accepting it, I tell you that!"
"It would not be so hard, if he were like other mortals. But you know
him yourself. How could he "look" after a child, especially such a
little one? She'll never get along with him, I am sure of that!--But
tell me of your prospects."
"I am going to a splendid house in Frankfurt. Last summer some people
went off to the baths and I took care of their rooms. As they got to
like me, they wanted to take me along, but I could not leave. They
have come back now and have persuaded me to go with them."
"I am glad I am not the child!" exclaimed Barbara with a shudder.
"Nobody knows anything about the old man's life up there. He doesn't
speak to a living soul, and from one year's end to the other he keeps
away from church. People get out of his way when he appears once in a
twelve-month down here among us. We all fear him and he is really just
like a heathen or an old Indian, with those thick grey eyebrows and
that huge uncanny beard. When he wanders along the road with his
twisted stick we are all afraid to meet him alone."
"That is not my fault," said Deta stubbornly. "He won't do her any
harm; and if he should, he is responsible, not I."
"I wish I knew what weighs on the old man's conscience. Why are his
eyes so fierce and why does he live up there all alone? Nobody ever
sees him and we hear many strange things about him. Didn't your sister
tell you anything, Deta?"
"Of course she did, but I shall hold my tongue. He would make me pay
for it if I didn't."
Barbara had long been anxious to know something about the old uncle
and why he lived apart from everybody. Nobody had a good word for him,
and when people talked about him, they did not speak openly but as if
they were afraid. She could not even explain to herself why he was
called the Alm-Uncle. He could not possibly be the uncle of all the
people in the village, but since everybody spoke of him so, she did
the same. Barbara, who had only lived in the village since her
marriage, was glad to get some information from her friend. Deta had
been bred there, but since her mother's death had gone away to earn
She confidentially seized Deta's arm and said: "I wish you would tell
me the truth about him, Deta; you know it all--people only gossip.
Tell me, what has happened to the old man to turn everybody against
him so? Did he always hate his fellow-creatures?"
"I cannot tell you whether he always did, and that for a very good
reason. He being sixty years old, and I only twenty-six, you can't
expect me to give you an account of his early youth. But if you'll
promise to keep it to yourself and not set all the people in Prätiggan
talking, I can tell you a good deal. My mother and he both came from
"How can you talk like that, Deta?" replied Barbara in an offended
tone. "People do not gossip much in Prätiggan, and I always can keep
things to myself, if I have to. You won't repent of having told me, I
"All right, but keep your word!" said Deta warningly. Then she looked
around to see that the child was not so close to them as to overhear
what might be said; but the little girl was nowhere to be seen. While
the two young women had talked at such a rate, they had not noticed
her absence; quite a while must have elapsed since the little girl had
given up following her companions. Deta, standing still, looked about
her everywhere, but no one was on the path, which--except for a few
curves--was visible as far down as the village.
"There she is! Can't you see her there?" exclaimed Barbara, pointing
to a spot a good distance from the path. "She is climbing up with the
goatherd Peter and his goats. I wonder why he is so late to-day. I
must say, it suits us well enough; he can look after the child while
you tell me everything without being interrupted."
"It will be very easy for Peter to watch her," remarked Deta; "she is
bright for her five years and keeps her eyes wide open. I have often
noticed that and I am glad for her, for it will be useful with the
uncle. He has nothing left in the whole wide world, but his cottage
and two goats!"
"Did he once have more?" asked Barbara.
"I should say so. He was heir to a large farm in Domleschg. But
setting up to play the fine gentleman, he soon lost everything with
drink and play. His parents died with grief and he himself
disappeared from these parts. After many years he came back with a
half-grown boy, his son, Tobias, that was his name, became a carpenter
and turned out to be a quiet, steady fellow. Many strange rumors went
round about the uncle and I think that was why he left Domleschg for
Dörfli. We acknowledged relationship, my mother's grandmother being a
cousin of his. We called him uncle, and because we are related on my
father's side to nearly all the people in the hamlet they too all
called him uncle. He was named 'Alm-Uncle' when he moved up to the
"But what happened to Tobias?" asked Barbara eagerly.
"Just wait. How can I tell you everything at once?" exclaimed Deta.
"Tobias was an apprentice in Mels, and when he was made master, he
came home to the village and married my sister Adelheid. They always
had been fond of each other and they lived very happily as man and
wife. But their joy was short. Two years afterwards, when Tobias was
helping to build a house, a beam fell on him and killed him. Adelheid
was thrown into a violent fever with grief and fright, and never
recovered from it. She had never been strong and had often suffered
from queer spells, when we did not know whether she was awake or
asleep. Only a few weeks after Tobias's death they buried poor
"People said that heaven had punished the uncle for his misdeeds.
After the death of his son he never spoke to a living soul. Suddenly
he moved up to the Alp, to live there at enmity with God and man.
"My mother and I took Adelheid's little year-old baby, Heidi, to live
with us. When I went to Ragatz I took her with me; but in the spring
the family whose work I had done last year came from Frankfurt and
resolved to take me to their town-house. I am very glad to get such a
"And now you want to hand over the child to this terrible old man. I
really wonder how you can do it, Deta!" said Barbara with reproach in
"It seems to me I have really done enough for the child. I do not know
where else to take her, as she is too young to come with me to
Frankfurt. By the way, Barbara, where are you going? We are half-way
up the Alm already."
Deta shook hands with her companion and stood still while Barbara
approached the tiny, dark-brown mountain hut, which lay in a hollow a
few steps away from the path.
Situated half-way up the Alm, the cottage was luckily protected from
the mighty winds. Had it been exposed to the tempests, it would have
been a doubtful habitation in the state of decay it was in. Even as it
was, the doors and windows rattled and the old rafters shook when the
south wind swept the mountain side. If the hut had stood on the Alm
top, the wind would have blown it down the valley without much ado
when the storm season came.
Here lived Peter the goatherd, a boy eleven years old, who daily
fetched the goats from the village and drove them up the mountain to
the short and luscious grasses of the pastures. Peter raced down in
the evening with the light-footed little goats. When he whistled
sharply through his fingers, every owner would come and get his or her
goat. These owners were mostly small boys and girls and, as the goats
were friendly, they did not fear them. That was the only time Peter
spent with other children, the rest of the day the animals were his
sole companions. At home lived his mother and an old blind
grandmother, but he only spent enough time in the hut to swallow his
bread and milk for breakfast and the same repast for supper. After
that he sought his bed to sleep. He always left early in the morning
and at night he came home late, so that he could be with his friends
as long as possible. His father had met with an accident some years
ago; he also had been called Peter the goatherd. His mother, whose
name was Brigida, was called "Goatherd Peter's wife" and his blind
grandmother was called by young and old from many miles about just
Deta waited about ten minutes to see if the children were coming up
behind with the goats. As she could not find them anywhere, she
climbed up a little higher to get a better view down the valley from
there, and peered from side to side with marks of great impatience on
The children in the meantime were ascending slowly in a zigzag way,
Peter always knowing where to find all sorts of good grazing places
for his goats where they could nibble. Thus they strayed from side to
side. The poor little girl had followed the boy only with the greatest
effort and she was panting in her heavy clothes. She was so hot and
uncomfortable that she only climbed by exerting all her strength. She
did not say anything but looked enviously at Peter, who jumped about
so easily in his light trousers and bare feet. She envied even more
the goats that climbed over bushes, stones, and steep inclines with
their slender legs. Suddenly sitting down on the ground the child
swiftly took off her shoes and stockings. Getting up she undid the
heavy shawl and the two little dresses. Out she slipped without more
ado and stood up in only a light petticoat. In sheer delight at the
relief, she threw up her dimpled arms, that were bare up to her short
sleeves. To save the trouble of carrying them, her aunt had dressed
her in her Sunday clothes over her workday garments. Heidi arranged
her dresses neatly in a heap and joined Peter and the goats. She was
now as light-footed as any of them. When Peter, who had not paid much
attention, saw her suddenly in her light attire, he grinned. Looking
back, he saw the little heap of dresses on the ground and then he
grinned yet more, till his mouth seemed to reach from ear to ear; but
he said never a word.
The child, feeling free and comfortable, started to converse with
Peter, and he had to answer many questions. She asked him how many
goats he had, and where he led them, what he did with them when he got
there, and so forth.
[Illustration: SHE UNDID THE HEAVY SHAWL AND THE TWO LITTLE
At last the children reached the summit in front of the hut. When Deta
saw the little party of climbers she cried out shrilly: "Heidi, what
have you done? What a sight you are! Where are your dresses and your
shawl? Are the new shoes gone that I just bought for you, and the new
stockings that I made myself? Where are they all, Heidi?"
The child quietly pointed down and said "There."
The aunt followed the direction of her finger and descried a little
heap with a small red dot in the middle, which she recognized as the
"Unlucky child!" Deta said excitedly. "What does all this mean? Why
have you taken your things all off?"
"Because I do not need them," said the child, not seeming in the least
repentant of her deed.
"How can you be so stupid, Heidi? Have you lost your senses?" the aunt
went on, in a tone of mingled vexation and reproach. "Who do you think
will go way down there to fetch those things up again? It is
half-an-hour's walk. Please, Peter, run down and get them. Do not
stand and stare at me as if you were glued to the spot."
"I am late already," replied Peter, and stood without moving from the
place where, with his hands in his trousers' pockets, he had witnessed
the violent outbreak of Heidi's aunt.
"There you are, standing and staring, but that won't get you further,"
said Deta. "I'll give you this if you go down." With that she held a
five-penny-piece under his eyes. That made Peter start and in a great
hurry he ran down the straightest path. He arrived again in so short a
time that Deta had to praise him and gave him her little coin without
delay. He did not often get such a treasure, and therefore his face
was beaming and he laughingly dropped the money deep into his pocket.
"If you are going up to the uncle, as we are, you can carry the pack
till we get there," said Deta. They still had to climb a steep ascent
that lay behind Peter's hut. The boy readily took the things and
followed Deta, his left arm holding the bundle and his right swinging
the stick. Heidi jumped along gaily by his side with the goats.
After three quarters of an hour they reached the height where the hut
of the old man stood on a prominent rock, exposed to every wind, but
bathed in the full sunlight. From there you could gaze far down into
the valley. Behind the hut stood three old fir-trees with great shaggy
branches. Further back the old grey rocks rose high and sheer. Above
them you could see green and fertile pastures, till at last the stony
boulders reached the bare, steep cliffs.
Overlooking the valley the uncle had made himself a bench, by the side
of the hut. Here he sat, with his pipe between his teeth and both
hands resting on his knees. He quietly watched the children climbing
up with the goats and Aunt Deta behind them, for the children had
caught up to her long ago. Heidi reached the top first, and
approaching the old man she held out her hand to him and said: "Good
"Well, well, what does that mean?" replied the old man in a rough
voice. Giving her his hand for only a moment, he watched her with a
long and penetrating look from under his bushy brows. Heidi gazed back
at him with an unwinking glance and examined him with much curiosity,
for he was strange to look at, with his thick, grey beard and shaggy
eyebrows, that met in the middle like a thicket.
Heidi's aunt had arrived in the meantime with Peter, who was eager to
see what was going to happen.
"Good-day to you, uncle," said Deta as she approached. "This is
Tobias's and Adelheid's child. You won't be able to remember her,
because last time you saw her she was scarcely a year old."
"Why do you bring her here?" asked the uncle, and turning to Peter he
said: "Get away and bring my goats. How late you are already!"
Peter obeyed and disappeared on the spot; the uncle had looked at him
in such a manner that he was glad to go.
"Uncle, I have brought the little girl for you to keep," said Deta. "I
have done my share these last four years and now it is your turn to
provide for her."
The old man's eyes flamed with anger. "Indeed!" he said. "What on
earth shall I do, when she begins to whine and cry for you? Small
children always do, and then I'll be helpless."
"You'll have to look out for that!" Deta retorted. "When the little
baby was left in my hands a few years ago, I had to find out how to
care for the little innocent myself and nobody told me anything. I
already had mother on my hands and there was plenty for me to do. You
can't blame me if I want to earn some money now. If you can't keep the
child, you can do with her whatever you please. If she comes to harm
you are responsible and I am sure you do not want to burden your
conscience any further."
Deta had said more in her excitement than she had intended, just
because her conscience was not quite clear. The uncle had risen during
her last words and now he gave her such a look that she retreated a
few steps. Stretching out his arm in a commanding gesture, he said to
her: "Away with you! Begone! Stay wherever you came from and don't
venture soon again into my sight!"
Deta did not have to be told twice. She said "Good-bye" to Heidi and
"Farewell" to the uncle, and started down the mountain. Like steam her
excitement seemed to drive her forward, and she ran down at a
tremendous rate. The people in the village called to her now more than
they had on her way up, because they all were wondering where she had
left the child. They were well acquainted with both and knew their
history. When she heard from door and windows: "Where is the child?"
"Where have you left her, Deta?" and so forth, she answered more and
more reluctantly: "Up with the Alm-Uncle,--with the Alm-Uncle!" She
became much provoked because the women called to her from every side:
"How could you do it?" "The poor little creature!" "The idea of
leaving such a helpless child up there!" and, over and over again:
"The poor little dear!" Deta ran as quickly as she could and was glad
when she heard no more calls, because, to tell the truth, she herself
was uneasy. Her mother had asked her on her deathbed to care for
Heidi. But she consoled herself with the thought that she would be
able to do more for the child if she could earn some money. She was
very glad to go away from people who interfered in her affairs, and
looked forward with great delight to her new place.
WITH THE GRANDFATHER
After Deta had disappeared, the Uncle sat down again on the bench,
blowing big clouds of smoke out of his pipe. He did not speak, but
kept his eyes fastened on the ground. In the meantime Heidi looked
about her, and discovering the goat-shed, peeped in. Nothing could be
seen inside. Searching for some more interesting thing, she saw the
three old fir-trees behind the hut. Here the wind was roaring through
the branches and the tree-tops were swaying to and fro. Heidi stood
still to listen. After the wind had ceased somewhat, she walked round
the hut back to her grandfather. She found him in exactly the same
position, and planting herself in front of the old man, with arms
folded behind her back, she gazed at him. The grandfather, looking up,
saw the child standing motionless before him. "What do you want to do
now?" he asked her.
"I want to see what's in the hut," replied Heidi.
"Come then," and with that the grandfather got up and entered the
"Take your things along," he commanded.
"I do not want them any more," answered Heidi.
The old man, turning about, threw a penetrating glance at her. The
child's black eyes were sparkling in expectation of all the things to
come. "She is not lacking in intelligence," he muttered to himself.
Aloud he added: "Why don't you need them any more?"
"I want to go about like the light-footed goats!"
"All right, you can; but fetch the things and we'll put them in the
cupboard." The child obeyed the command. The old man now opened the
door, and Heidi followed him into a fairly spacious room, which took
in the entire expanse of the hut. In one corner stood a table and a
chair, and in another the grandfather's bed. Across the room a large
kettle was suspended over the hearth, and opposite to it a large door
was sunk into the wall. This the grandfather opened. It was the
cupboard, in which all his clothes were kept. In one shelf were a few
shirts, socks and towels; on another a few plates, cups and glasses;
and on the top shelf Heidi could see a round loaf of bread, some bacon
and cheese. In this cupboard the grandfather kept everything that he
needed for his subsistence. When he opened it, Heidi pushed her things
as far behind the grandfather's clothes as she could reach. She did
not want them found again in a hurry. After looking around attentively
in the room, she asked, "Where am I going to sleep, grandfather?"
"Wherever you want to," he replied. That suited Heidi exactly. She
peeped into all the corners of the room and looked at every little
nook to find a cosy place to sleep. Beside the old man's bed she saw a
ladder. Climbing up, she arrived at a hayloft, which was filled with
fresh and fragrant hay. Through a tiny round window she could look far
down into the valley.
[Illustration: HERE A NEAT LITTLE BED WAS PREPARED]
"I want to sleep up here," Heidi called down. "Oh, it is lovely here.
Please come up, grandfather, and see it for yourself."
"I know it," sounded from below.
"I am making the bed now," the little girl called out again, while she
ran busily to and fro. "Oh, do come up and bring a sheet, grandfather,
for every bed must have a sheet."
"Is that so?" said the old man. After a while he opened the cupboard
and rummaged around in it. At last he pulled out a long coarse cloth
from under the shirts. It somewhat resembled a sheet, and with this he
climbed up to the loft. Here a neat little bed was already prepared.
On top the hay was heaped up high so that the head of the occupant
would lie exactly opposite the window.
The grandfather was well pleased with the arrangement. To prevent the
hard floor from being felt, he made the couch twice as thick. Then he
and Heidi together put the heavy sheet on, tucking the ends in well.
Heidi looked thoughtfully at her fresh, new bed and said,
"Grandfather, we have forgotten something."
"What?" he asked.
"I have no cover. When I go to bed I always creep in between the sheet
and the cover."
"What shall we do if I haven't any?" asked the grandfather.
"Never mind, I'll just take some more hay to cover me," Heidi
reassured him, and was just going to the heap of hay when the old man
"Just wait one minute," he said, and went down to his own bed. From it
he took a large, heavy linen bag and brought it to the child.
"Isn't this better than hay?" he asked.
Heidi pulled the sack to and fro with all her might, but she could not
unfold it, for it was too heavy for her little arms. The grandfather
put the thick cover on the bed while Heidi watched him. After it was
all done, she said: "What a nice bed I have now, and what a splendid
cover! I only wish the evening was here, that I might go to sleep in
"I think we might eat something first," said the grandfather. "Don't
you think so?"
Heidi had forgotten everything else in her interest for the bed; but
when she was reminded of her dinner, she noticed how terribly hungry
she really was. She had had only a piece of bread and a cup of thin
coffee very early in the morning, before her long journey. Heidi said
approvingly: "I think we might, grandfather!"
"Let's go down then, if we agree," said the old man, and followed
close behind her. Going up to the fireplace, he pushed the big kettle
aside and reached for a smaller one that was suspended on a chain.
Then sitting down on a three-legged stool, he kindled a bright fire.
When the kettle was boiling, the old man put a large piece of cheese
on a long iron fork, and held it over the fire, turning it to and fro,
till it was golden-brown on all sides. Heidi had watched him eagerly.
Suddenly she ran to the cupboard. When her grandfather brought a pot
and the toasted cheese to the table, he found it already nicely set
with two plates and two knives and the bread in the middle. Heidi had
seen the things in the cupboard and knew that they would be needed for
"I am glad to see that you can think for yourself," said the
grandfather, while he put the cheese on top of the bread, "but
something is missing yet."
Heidi saw the steaming pot and ran back to the cupboard in all haste.
A single little bowl was on the shelf. That did not perplex Heidi
though, for she saw two glasses standing behind. With those three
things she returned to the table.
"You certainly can help yourself! Where shall you sit, though?" asked
the grandfather, who occupied the only chair himself, Heidi flew to
the hearth, and bringing back the little stool, sat down on it.
"Now you have a seat, but it is much too low. In fact, you are too
little to reach the table from my chair. Now you shall have something
to eat at last!" and with that the grandfather filled the little bowl
with milk. Putting it on his chair, he pushed it as near to the stool
as was possible, and in that way Heidi had a table before her. He
commanded her to eat the large piece of bread and the slice of golden
cheese. He sat down himself on a corner of the table and started his
own dinner. Heidi drank without stopping, for she felt exceedingly
thirsty after her long journey. Taking a long breath, she put down her
"How do you like the milk?" the grandfather asked her.
"I never tasted better," answered Heidi.
"Then you shall have more," and with that the grandfather filled the
little bowl again. The little girl ate and drank with the greatest
enjoyment. After she was through, both went out into the goat-shed.
Here the old man busied himself, and Heidi watched him attentively
while he was sweeping and putting down fresh straw for the goats to
sleep on. Then he went to the little shop alongside and fashioned a
high chair for Heidi, to the little girl's greatest amazement.
"What is this?" asked the grandfather.
"This is a chair for me. I am sure of it because it is so high. How
quickly it was made!" said the child, full of admiration and wonder.
"She knows what is what and has her eyes on the right place," the
grandfather said to himself, while he walked around the hut, fastening
a nail or a loose board here and there. He wandered about with his
hammer and nails, repairing whatever was in need of fixing. Heidi
followed him at every step and watched the performance with great
enjoyment and attention.
At last the evening came. The old fir-trees were rustling and a mighty
wind was roaring and howling through the tree-tops. Those sounds
thrilled Heidi's heart and filled it with happiness and joy. She
danced and jumped about under the trees, for those sounds made her
feel as if a wonderful thing had happened to her. The grandfather
stood under the door, watching her, when suddenly a shrill whistle was
heard. Heidi stood still and the grandfather joined her outside. Down
from the heights came one goat after another, with Peter in their
midst. Uttering a cry of joy, Heidi ran into the middle of the flock,
greeting her old friends. When they had all reached the hut, they
stopped on their way and two beautiful slender goats came out of the
herd, one of them white and the other brown. They came up to the
grandfather, who held out some salt in his hands to them, as he did
every night. Heidi tenderly caressed first one and then the other,
seeming beside herself with joy.
"Are they ours, grandfather? Do they both belong to us? Are they going
to the stable? Are they going to stay with us?" Heidi kept on asking
in her excitement. The grandfather hardly could put in a "yes, yes,
surely" between her numerous questions. When the goats had licked up
all the salt, the old man said, "Go in, Heidi, and fetch your bowl
and the bread."
Heidi obeyed and returned instantly. The grandfather milked a full
bowl from the white goat, cut a piece of bread for the child, and told
her to eat. "Afterwards you can go to bed. If you need some shirts and
other linen, you will find them in the bottom of the cupboard. Aunt
Deta has left a bundle for you. Now good-night, I have to look after
the goats and lock them up for the night."
"Good-night, grandfather! Oh, please tell me what their names are,"
called Heidi after him.
"The white one's name is Schwänli and the brown one I call Bärli," was
"Good-night, Schwänli! Good-night, Bärli," the little girl called
loudly, for they were just disappearing in the shed. Heidi now sat
down on the bench and took her supper. The strong wind nearly blew her
from her seat, so she hurried with her meal, to be able to go inside
and up to her bed. She slept in it as well as a prince on his royal
Very soon after Heidi had gone up, before it was quite dark, the old
man also sought his bed. He was always up in the morning with the sun,
which rose early over the mountain-side in those summer days. It was a
wild, stormy night; the hut was shaking in the gusts and all the
boards were creaking. The wind howled through the chimney and the old
fir-trees shook so strongly that many a dry branch came crashing down.
In the middle of the night the grandfather got up, saying to himself:
"I am sure she is afraid." Climbing up the ladder, he went up to
Heidi's bed. The first moment everything lay in darkness, when all of
a sudden the moon came out behind the clouds and sent his brilliant
light across Heidi's bed. Her cheeks were burning red and she lay
peacefully on her round and chubby arms. She must have had a happy
dream, for she was smiling in her sleep. The grandfather stood and
watched her till a cloud flew over the moon and left everything in
total darkness. Then he went down to seek his bed again.
ON THE PASTURE
Heidi was awakened early next morning by a loud whistle. Opening her
eyes, she saw her little bed and the hay beside her bathed in golden
sunlight. For a short while she did not know where she was, but when
she heard her grandfather's deep voice outside, she recollected
everything. She remembered how she had come up the mountain the day
before and left old Ursula, who was always shivering with cold and sat
near the stove all day. While Heidi lived with Ursula, she had always
been obliged to keep in the house, where the old woman could see her.
Being deaf, Ursula was afraid to let Heidi go outdoors, and the child
had often fretted in the narrow room and had longed to run outside.
She was therefore delighted to find herself in her new home and hardly
could wait to see the goats again. Jumping out of bed, she put on her
few things and in a short time went down the ladder and ran outside.
Peter was already there with his flock, waiting for Schwänli and
Bärli, whom the grandfather was just bringing to join the other goats.
"Do you want to go with him to the pasture?" asked the grandfather.
"Yes," cried Heidi, clapping her hands.
"Go now, and wash yourself first, for the sun will laugh at you if he
sees how dirty you are. Everything is ready there for you," he added,
pointing to a large tub of water that stood in the sun. Heidi did as
she was told, and washed and rubbed herself till her cheeks were
glowing. In the meanwhile the grandfather called to Peter to come into
the hut and bring his bag along. The boy followed the old man, who
commanded him to open the bag in which he carried his scanty dinner.
The grandfather put into the bag a piece of bread and a slice of
cheese, that were easily twice as large as those the boy had in the
"The little bowl goes in, too," said the Uncle, "for the child does
not know how to drink straight from the goat, the way you do. She is
going to stay with you all day, therefore milk two bowls full for her
dinner. Look out that she does not fall over the rocks! Do you hear?"
Just then Heidi came running in. "Grandfather, can the sun still laugh
at me?" she asked. The child had rubbed herself so violently with the
coarse towel which the grandfather had put beside the tub that her
face, neck and arms were as red as a lobster. With a smile the
grandfather said: "No, he can't laugh any more now; but when you come
home to-night you must go into the tub like a fish. When one goes
about like the goats, one gets dirty feet. Be off!"
They started merrily up the Alp. A cloudless, deep-blue sky looked
down on them, for the wind had driven away every little cloud in the
night. The fresh green mountain-side was bathed in brilliant sunlight,
and many blue and yellow flowers had opened. Heidi was wild with joy
and ran from side to side. In one place she saw big patches of fine
red primroses, on another spot blue gentians sparkled in the grass,
and everywhere the golden rock-roses were nodding to her. In her
transport at finding such treasures, Heidi even forgot Peter and his
goats. She ran far ahead of him and then strayed away off to one side,
for the sparkling flowers tempted her here and there. Picking whole
bunches of them to take home with her, she put them all into her
Peter, whose round eyes could only move about slowly, had a hard time
looking out for her. The goats were even worse, and only by shouting
and whistling, especially by swinging his rod, could he drive them
"Heidi, where are you now?" he called quite angrily.
"Here," it sounded from somewhere. Peter could not see her, for she
was sitting on the ground behind a little mound, which was covered
with fragrant flowers. The whole air was filled with their perfume,
and the child drew it in, in long breaths.
"Follow me now!" Peter called out. "The grandfather has told me to
look out for you, and you must not fall over the rocks."
"Where are they?" asked Heidi without even stirring.
"Way up there, and we have still far to go. If you come quickly, we
may see the eagle there and hear him shriek."
That tempted Heidi, and she came running to Peter, with her apron full
"You have enough now," he declared. "If you pick them all to-day,
there won't be any left to-morrow." Heidi admitted that, besides which
she had her apron already full. From now on she stayed at Peter's
side. The goats, scenting the pungent herbs, also hurried up without
Peter generally took his quarters for the day at the foot of a high
cliff, which seemed to reach far up into the sky. Overhanging rocks on
one side made it dangerous, so that the grandfather was wise to warn
After they had reached their destination, the boy took off his bag,
putting it in a little hollow in the ground. The wind often blew in
violent gusts up there, and Peter did not want to lose his precious
load. Then he lay down in the sunny grass, for he was very tired.
Heidi, taking off her apron, rolled it tightly together and put it
beside Peter's bag. Then, sitting down beside the boy, she looked
about her. Far down she saw the glistening valley; a large field of
snow rose high in front of her. Heidi sat a long time without
stirring, with Peter asleep by her side and the goats climbing about
between the bushes. A light breeze fanned her cheek and those big
mountains about her made her feel happy as never before. She looked up
at the mountain-tops till they all seemed to have faces, and soon they
were familiar to her, like old friends. Suddenly she heard a loud,
sharp scream, and looking up she beheld the largest bird she had ever
seen, flying above her. With outspread wings he flew in large circles
over Heidi's head.
"Wake up, Peter!" Heidi called. "Look up, Peter, and see the eagle
Peter got wide wake, and then they both watched the bird breathlessly.
It rose higher and higher into the azure, till it disappeared at last
behind the mountain-peak.
"Where has it gone?" Heidi asked.
"Home to its nest," was Peter's answer.
"Oh, does it really live way up there? How wonderful that must be! But
tell me why it screams so loud?" Heidi inquired.
"Because it has to," Peter replied.
"Oh, let's climb up there and see its nest!" implored Heidi, but
Peter, expressing decided disapproval in his voice, answered: "Oh
dear, Oh dear, not even goats could climb up there! Grandfather has
told me not to let you fall down the rocks, so we can't go!"
Peter now began to call loudly and to whistle, and soon all the goats
were assembled on the green field. Heidi ran into their midst, for she
loved to see them leaping and playing about.
Peter in the meantime was preparing dinner for Heidi and himself, by
putting her large pieces on one side and his own small ones on the
other. Then he milked Bärli and put the full bowl in the middle. When
he was ready, he called to the little girl. But it took some time
before she obeyed his call.
[Illustration: SHE HANDED HIM ALSO THE WHOLE SLICE OF CHEESE]
"Stop jumping, now," said Peter, "and sit down; your dinner is ready."
"Is this milk for me?" she inquired.
"Yes it is; those large pieces also belong to you. When you are
through with the milk, I'll get you some more. After that I'll get
"What milk do you get?" Heidi inquired.
"I get it from my own goat, that speckled one over there. But go ahead
and eat!" Peter commanded again. Heidi obeyed, and when the bowl was
empty, he filled it again. Breaking off a piece of bread for herself,
she gave Peter the rest, which was still bigger than his own portion
had been. She handed him also the whole slice of cheese, saying: "You
can eat that, I have had enough!"
Peter was speechless with surprise, for it would have been impossible
for him ever to give up any of his share. Not taking Heidi in earnest,
he hesitated till she put the things on his knees. Then he saw she
really meant it, and he seized his prize. Nodding his thanks to her,
he ate the most luxurious meal he had ever had in all his life. Heidi
was watching the goats in the meantime, and asked Peter for their
The boy could tell them all to her, for their names were about the
only thing he had to carry in his head. She soon knew them, too, for
she had listened attentively. One of them was the Big Turk, who tried
to stick his big horns into all the others. Most of the goats ran away
from their rough comrade. The bold Thistlefinch alone was not afraid,
and running his horns three or four times into the other, so
astonished the Turk with his great daring that he stood still and gave
up fighting, for the Thistlefinch had sharp horns and met him in the
most warlike attitude. A small, white goat, called Snowhopper, kept up
bleating in the most piteous way, which induced Heidi to console it
several times. Heidi at last went to the little thing again, and
throwing her arms around its head, she asked, "What is the matter with
you, Snowhopper? Why do you always cry for help?" The little goat
pressed close to Heidi's side and became perfectly quiet. Peter was
still eating, but between the swallows he called to Heidi: "She is so
unhappy, because the old goat has left us. She was sold to somebody in
Mayenfeld two days ago."
"Who was the old goat?"
"Her mother, of course."
"Where is her grandmother?"
"She hasn't any."
"And her grandfather?"
"Hasn't any either."
"Poor little Snowhopper!" said Heidi, drawing the little creature
tenderly to her. "Don't grieve any more; see, I am coming up with you
every day now, and if there is anything the matter, you can come to
Snowhopper rubbed her head against Heidi's shoulder and stopped
bleating. When Peter had finally finished his dinner, he joined Heidi.
The little girl had just been observing that Schwänli and Bärli were
by far the cleanest and prettiest of the goats. They evaded the
obtrusive Turk with a sort of contempt and always managed to find the
greenest bushes for themselves. She mentioned it to Peter, who
replied: "I know! Of course they are the prettiest, because the uncle
washes them and gives them salt. He has the best stable by far."
All of a sudden Peter, who had been lying on the ground, jumped up and
bounded after the goats. Heidi, knowing that something must have
happened, followed him. She saw him running to a dangerous abyss on
the side. Peter had noticed how the rash Thistlefinch had gone nearer
and nearer to the dangerous spot. Peter only just came in time to
prevent the goat from falling down over the very edge. Unfortunately
Peter had stumbled over a stone in his hurry and was only able to
catch the goat by one leg. The Thistlefinch, being enraged to find
himself stopped in his charming ramble, bleated furiously. Not being
able to get up, Peter loudly called for help. Heidi immediately saw
that Peter was nearly pulling off the animal's leg. She quickly picked
some fragrant herbs and holding them under the animal's nose, she said
soothingly: "Come, come, Thistlefinch, and be sensible. You might fall
down there and break your leg. That would hurt you horribly."
The goat turned about and devoured the herbs Heidi held in her hand.
When Peter got to his feet, he led back the runaway with Heidi's help.
When he had the goat in safety, he raised his rod to beat it for
punishment. The goat retreated shyly, for it knew what was coming.
Heidi screamed loudly: "Peter, no, do not beat him! look how scared he
"He well deserves it," snarled Peter, ready to strike. But Heidi,
seizing his arm, shouted, full of indignation: "You mustn't hurt him!
Let him go!"
Heidi's eyes were sparkling, and when he saw her with her commanding
mien, he desisted and dropped his rope. "I'll let him go, if you give
me a piece of your cheese again to-morrow," he said, for he wanted a
compensation for his fright.
"You may have it all to-morrow and every day, because I don't need
it," Heidi assured him. "I shall also give you a big piece of bread,
if you promise never to beat any of the goats."
"I don't care," growled Peter, and in that way he gave his promise.
Thus the day had passed, and the sun was already sinking down behind
the mountains. Sitting on the grass, Heidi looked at the bluebells and
the wild roses that were shining in the last rays of the sun. The
peaks also started to glow, and Heidi suddenly called to the boy: "Oh,
Peter, look! everything is on fire. The mountains are burning and the
sky, too. Oh, look! the moon over there is on fire, too. Do you see
the mountains all in a glow? Oh, how beautiful the snow looks! Peter,
the eagle's nest is surely on fire, too. Oh, look at the fir-trees
Peter was quietly peeling his rod, and looking up, said to Heidi:
"This is no fire; it always looks like that."
"But what is it then?" asked Heidi eagerly, gazing about her
"It gets that way of itself," explained Peter.
"Oh look! Everything is all rosy now! Oh, look at this mountain over
there with the snow and the sharp peaks. What is its name?"
"Mountains have no names," he answered.
"Oh, see, how beautiful! It looks as if many, many roses were growing
on those cliffs. Oh, now they are getting grey. Oh dear! the fire has
gone out and it is all over. What a terrible shame!" said Heidi quite
"It will be the same again tomorrow," Peter reassured her. "Come now,
we have to go home."
When Peter had called the goats together, they started downwards.
"Will it be like that every day when we are up?" asked Heidi, eagerly.
"It usually is," was the reply.
"What about tomorrow?" she inquired.
"Tomorrow it will be like that, I am sure," Peter affirmed.
That made Heidi feel happy again. She walked quietly by Peter's side,
thinking over all the new things she had seen. At last, reaching the
hut, they found the grandfather waiting for them on a bench under the
fir-trees. Heidi ran up to him and the two goats followed, for they
knew their master. Peter called to her: "Come again tomorrow!
Heidi gave him her hand, assuring him that she would come, and finding
herself surrounded by the goats, she hugged Snowhopper a last time.
When Peter had disappeared, Heidi returned to her grandfather. "Oh
grandfather! it was so beautiful! I saw the fire and the roses on the
rocks! And see the many, many flowers I am bringing you!" With that
Heidi shook them out of her apron. But oh, how miserable they looked!
Heidi did not even know them any more.
"What is the matter with them, grandfather? They looked so different!"
Heidi exclaimed in her fright.
"They are made to bloom in the sun and not to be shut up in an apron,"
said the grandfather.
"Then I shall never pick them any more! Please, grandfather, tell me
why the eagle screeches so loudly," asked Heidi.
"First go and take a bath, while I go into the shed to get your milk.
Afterwards we'll go inside together and I'll tell you all about it
They did as was proposed, and when Heidi sat on her high chair before
her milk, she asked the same question as before.
"Because he is sneering at the people down below, who sit in the
villages and make each other angry. He calls down to them:--'If you
would go apart to live up on the heights like me, you would feel much
better!'" The grandfather said these last words with such a wild
voice, that it reminded Heidi of the eagle's screech.
"Why do the mountains have no names, grandfather?" asked Heidi.
"They all have names, and if you tell me their shape I can name them
Heidi described several and the old man could name them all. The child
told him now about all the happenings of the day, and especially about
the wonderful fire. She asked how it came about.
"The sun does it," he exclaimed. "Saying good-night to the mountains,
he throws his most beautiful rays to them, that they may not forget
him till the morning."
Heidi was so much pleased with this explanation, that she could hardly
wait to see the sun's good-night greetings repeated. It was time now
to go to bed, and Heidi slept soundly all night. She dreamt that the
little Snowhopper was bounding happily about on the glowing mountains
with many glistening roses blooming round her.
IN THE GRANDMOTHER'S HUT
Next morning Peter came again with his goats, and Heidi went up to the
pasture with them. This happened day after day, and in this healthy
life Heidi grew stronger, and more sunburnt every day. Soon the autumn
came and when the wind was blowing across the mountainside, the
grandfather would say: "You must stay home to-day, Heidi; for the wind
can blow such a little thing as you down into the valley with a single
It always made Peter unhappy when Heidi did not come along, for he saw
nothing but misfortunes ahead of him; he hardly knew how to pass his
time, and besides, he was deprived of his abundant dinner. The goats
were so accustomed to Heidi by this time, that they did not follow
Peter when she was not with him.
Heidi herself did not mind staying at home, for she loved nothing
better than to watch her grandfather with his saw and hammer.
Sometimes the grandfather would make small round cheeses on those
days, and there was no greater pleasure for Heidi than to see him stir
the butter with his bare arms. When the wind would howl through the
fir-trees on those stormy days, Heidi would run out to the grove,
thrilled and happy by the wondrous roaring in the branches. The sun
had lost its vigor, and the child had to put on her shoes and
stockings and her little dress.
The weather got colder and colder, and when Peter came up in the
morning, he would blow into his hands, he was so frozen. At last even
Peter could not come any more, for a deep snow had fallen over night.
Heidi stood at the window, watching the snow falling down. It kept on
snowing till it reached the windows; still it did not stop, and soon
the windows could not be opened, and they were all shut in. When it
had lasted for several days, Heidi thought that it would soon cover
up the cottage. It finally stopped, and the grandfather went out to
shovel the snow away from the door and windows, piling it up high here
and there. In the afternoon the two were sitting near the fire when
noisy steps were heard outside and the door was pushed open. It was
Peter, who had come up to see Heidi. Muttering, "Good-evening," he
went up to the fire. His face was beaming, and Heidi had to laugh when
she saw little waterfalls trickling down from his person, for all the
ice and snow had melted in the great heat.
The grandfather now asked Peter how he got along in school. Heidi was
so interested that she asked him a hundred questions. Poor Peter, who
was not an easy talker, found himself in great difficulty answering
the little girl's inquiries, but at least it gave him leisure to dry
During this conversation the grandfather's eyes had been twinkling,
and at last he said to the boy: "Now that you have been under fire,
general, you need some strengthening. Come and join us at supper."
With that the old man prepared a meal which amply satisfied Peter's
appetite. It had begun to get dark, and Peter knew that it was time to
go. He had said good-bye and thank you, when turning to Heidi he
"I'll come next Sunday, if I may. By the way, Heidi, grandmother asked
me to tell you that she would love to see you."
Heidi immediately approved of this idea, and her first word next
morning was: "Grandfather, I must go down to grandmother. She is
Four days later the sun was shining and the tight-packed frozen snow
was crackling under every step. Heidi was sitting at the dinner-table,
imploring the old man to let her make the visit then, when he got up,
and fetching down her heavy cover, told her to follow him. They went
out into the glistening snow; no sound was heard and the snow-laden
fir-trees shone and glittered in the sun. Heidi in her transport was
running to and fro: "Grandfather, come out! Oh, look at the trees!
They are all covered with silver and gold," she called to the
grandfather, who had just come out of his workshop with a wide sled.
Wrapping the child up in her cover, he put her on the sled, holding
her fast. Off they started at such a pace that Heidi shouted for joy,
for she seemed to be flying like a bird. The sled had stopped in front
of Peter's hut, and grandfather said: "Go in. When it gets dark, start
on your way home." When he had unwrapped her, he turned homewards with
[Illustration: OFF THEY STARTED AT SUCH A PACE THAT HEIDI SHOUTED FOR
Opening the door, Heidi found herself in a tiny, dark kitchen, and
going through another door, she entered a narrow chamber. Near a table
a woman was seated, busy with mending Peter's coat, which Heidi had
recognized immediately. A bent old woman was sitting in a corner, and
Heidi, approaching her at once, said: "How do you do, grandmother? I
have come now, and I hope I haven't kept you waiting too long!"
Lifting her head, the grandmother sought for Heidi's hand. Feeling it
thoughtfully, she said: "Are you the little girl who lives up with the
uncle? Is your name Heidi?"
"Yes," Heidi replied. "The grandfather just brought me down in the
"How is it possible? Your hands are as warm as toast! Brigida, did the
uncle really come down with the child?"
Brigida, Peter's mother, had gotten up to look at the child. She said:
"I don't know if he did, but I don't think so. She probably doesn't
Heidi, looking up, said quite decidedly: "I know that grandfather
wrapped me up in a cover when we coasted down together."
"Peter was right after all," said the grandmother. "We never thought
the child would live more than three weeks with him. Brigida, tell me
what she looks like."
"She has Adelheid's fine limbs and black eyes, and curly hair like
Tobias and the old man. I think she looks like both of them."
While the women were talking, Heidi had been taking in everything.
Then she said: "Grandmother, look at the shutter over there. It is
hanging loose. If grandfather were here, he would fasten it. It will
break the window-pane! Just look at it."
"What a sweet child you are," said the grandmother tenderly. "I can
hear it, but I cannot see it, child. This cottage rattles and creaks,
and when the wind blows, it comes in through every chink. Some day the
whole house will break to pieces and fall on top of us. If only Peter
knew how to mend it! We have no one else."
"Why, grandmother, can't you see the shutter?" asked Heidi.
"Child, I cannot see anything," lamented the old woman.
"Can you see it when I open the shutter to let in the light?"
"No, no, not even then. Nobody can ever show me the light again."
"But you can see when you go out into the snow, where everything is
bright. Come with me, grandmother, I'll show you!" and Heidi, taking
the old woman by the hand, tried to lead her out. Heidi was frightened
and got more anxious all the time.
"Just let me stay here, child. Everything is dark for me, and my poor
eyes can neither see the snow nor the light."
"But grandmother, does it not get light in the summer, when the sun
shines down on the mountains to say good-night, setting them all
"No, child, I can never see the fiery mountains any more. I have to
live in darkness, always."
Heidi burst out crying now and sobbed aloud. "Can nobody make it light
for you? Is there nobody who can do it, grandmother? Nobody?"
The grandmother tried all possible means to comfort the child; it
wrung her heart to see her terrible distress. It was awfully hard for
Heidi to stop crying when she had once begun, for she cried so seldom.
The grandmother said: "Heidi, let me tell you something. People who
cannot see love to listen to friendly words. Sit down beside me and
tell me all about yourself. Talk to me about your grandfather, for it
has been long since I have heard anything about him. I used to know
him very well."
Heidi suddenly wiped away her tears, for she had had a cheering
thought. "Grandmother, I shall tell grandfather about it, and I am
sure he can make it light for you. He can mend your little house and
stop the rattling."
The old woman remained silent, and Heidi, with the greatest vivacity,
began to describe her life with the grandfather. Listening
attentively, the two women would say to each other sometimes: "Do you
hear what she says about the uncle? Did you listen?"
Heidi's tale was interrupted suddenly by a great thumping on the door;
and who should come in but Peter. No sooner had he seen Heidi, than he
smiled, opening his round eyes as wide as possible. Heidi called,
"Is it really time for him to come home!" exclaimed Peter's
grandmother. "How quickly the time has flown. Good-evening, little
Peter; how is your reading going?"
"Just the same," the boy replied.
"Oh, dear, I was hoping for a change at last. You are nearly twelve
years old, my boy."
"Why should there be a change?" inquired Heidi with greatest interest.
"I am afraid he'll never learn it after all. On the shelf over there
is an old prayer-book with beautiful songs. I have forgotten them all,
for I do not hear them any more. I longed that Peter should read them
to me some day, but he will never be able to!"
Peter's mother got up from her work now, saying, "I must make a light.
The afternoon has passed and now it's getting dark."
When Heidi heard those words, she started, and holding out her hand to
all, she said: "Good-night. I have to go, for it is getting dark." But
the anxious grandmother called out: "Wait, child, don't go up alone!
Go with her, Peter, and take care that she does not fall. Don't let
her get cold, do you hear? Has Heidi a shawl?"
"I haven't, but I won't be cold," Heidi called back, for she had
already escaped through the door. She ran so fast that Peter could
hardly follow her. The old woman frettingly called out: "Brigida, run
after her. Get a warm shawl, she'll freeze in this cold night. Hurry
up!" Brigida obeyed. The children had hardly climbed any distance,
when they saw the old man coming and with a few vigorous steps he
stood beside them.
"I am glad you kept you word, Heidi," he said; and packing her into
her cover, he started up the hill, carrying the child in his arms.
Brigida had come in time to see it, and told the grandmother what she
"Thank God, thank God!" the old woman said. "I hope she'll come again;
she has done me so much good! What a soft heart she has, the darling,
and how nicely she can talk." All evening the grandmother said to
herself, "If only he lets her come again! I have something to look
forward to in this world now, thank God!"
Heidi could hardly wait before they reached the cottage. She had tried
to talk on the way, but no sound could be heard through the heavy
cover. As soon as they were inside the hut she began: "Grandfather, we
must take some nails and a hammer down tomorrow; a shutter is loose in
grandmother's house and many other places shake. Everything rattles in
"Is that so? Who says we must?"
"Nobody told me, but I know," Heidi replied. "Everything is loose in
the house, and poor grandmother told me she was afraid that the house
might tumble down. And grandfather, she cannot see the light. Can you
help her and make it light for her? How terrible it must be to be
afraid in the dark and nobody there to help you! Oh, please,
grandfather, do something to help her! I know you can."
Heidi had been clinging to her grandfather and looking up to him with
trusting eyes. At last he said, glancing down: "All right, child,
we'll see that it won't rattle any more. We can do it tomorrow."
Heidi was so overjoyed at these words that she danced around the room
shouting: "We'll do it tomorrow! We can do it tomorrow!"
The grandfather, keeping his word, took Heidi down the following day
with the same instructions as before. After Heidi had disappeared, he
went around the house inspecting it.
The grandmother, in her joy at seeing the child again, had stopped the
wheel and called: "Here is the child again! She has come again!"
Heidi, grasping her outstretched hands, sat herself on a low stool at
the old woman's feet and began to chat. Suddenly violent blows were
heard outside; the grandmother in her fright nearly upset the
spinning-wheel and screamed: "Oh, God, it has come at last. The hut is
"Grandmother, don't be frightened," said the child, while she put her
arms around her. "Grandfather is just fastening the shutter and fixing
everything for you."
"Is it possible? Has God not forgotten us after all? Brigida, have you
heard it? Surely that is a hammer. Ask him to come in a moment, if it
is he, for I must thank him."
When Brigida went out, she found the old man busy with putting a new
beam along the wall. Approaching him, she said: "Mother and I wish you
a good-afternoon. We are very much obliged to you for doing us such a
service, and mother would like to see you. There are few that would
have done it, uncle, and how can we thank you?"
"That will do," he interrupted. "I know what your opinion about me is.
Go in, for I can find what needs mending myself."
Brigida obeyed, for the uncle had a way that nobody could oppose. All
afternoon the uncle hammered around; he even climbed up on the roof,
where much was missing. At last he had to stop, for the last nail was
gone from his pocket. The darkness had come in the meantime, and
Heidi was ready to go up with him, packed warmly in his arms.
Thus the winter passed. Sunshine had come again into the blind woman's
life, and made her days less dark and dreary. Early every morning she
would begin to listen for Heidi's footsteps, and when the door was
opened and the child ran in, the grandmother exclaimed every time more
joyfully: "Thank God, she has come again!"
Heidi would talk about her life, and make the grandmother smile and
laugh, and in that way the hours flew by. In former times the old
woman had always sighed: "Brigida, is the day not over yet?" but now
she always exclaimed after Heidi's departure: "How quickly the
afternoon has gone by. Don't you think so, too, Brigida?" Her daughter
had to assent, for Heidi had long ago won her heart. "If only God will
spare us the child!" the grandmother would often say. "I hope the
uncle will always be kind, as he is now."--"Does Heidi look well,
Brigida?" was a frequent question, which always got a reassuring
Heidi also became very fond of the old grandmother, and when the
weather was fair, she visited her every day that winter. Whenever the
child remembered that the grandmother was blind, she would get very
sad; her only comfort was that her coming brought such happiness. The
grandfather soon had mended the cottage; often he would take down big
loads of timber, which he used to good purpose. The grandmother vowed
that no rattling could be heard any more, and that, thanks to the
uncle's kindness, she slept better that winter than she had done for
many a year.
Two winters had nearly passed. Heidi was happy, for the spring was
coming again, with the soft delicious wind that made the fir-trees
roar. Soon she would be able to go up to the pasture, where blue and
yellow flowers greeted her at every step. She was nearly eight years
old, and had learned to take care of the goats, who ran after her like
little dogs. Several times the village teacher had sent word by Peter
that the child was wanted in school, but the old man had not paid any
attention to the message and had kept her with him as before. It was a
beautiful morning in March. The snow had melted on the slopes, and was
going fast. Snowdrops were peeping through the ground, which seemed to
be getting ready for spring. Heidi was running to and fro before the
door, when she suddenly saw an old gentleman, dressed in black,
standing beside her. As she appeared frightened, he said kindly: "You
must not be afraid of me, for I love children. Give me your hand,
Heidi, and tell me where your grandfather is."
"He is inside, making round wooden spoons," the child replied, opening
the door while she spoke.
It was the old pastor of the village, who had known the grandfather
years ago. After entering, he approached the old man, saying:
The old man got up, surprised, and offering a seat to the visitor,
said: "Good-morning, Mr. Parson. Here is a wooden chair, if it is good
Sitting down, the parson said: "It is long since I have seen you,
neighbor. I have come to-day to talk over a matter with you. I am sure
you can guess what it is about."
The clergyman here looked at Heidi, who was standing near the door.
"Heidi, run out to see the goats," said the grandfather, "and bring
them some salt; you can stay till I come."
Heidi disappeared on the spot. "The child should have come to school a
year ago," the parson went on to say. "Didn't you get the teacher's
warning? What do you intend to do with the child?"
"I do not want her to go to school," said the old man, unrelentingly.
"What do you want the child to be?"
"I want her to be free and happy as a bird!"
"But she is human, and it is high time for her to learn something. I
have come now to tell you about it, so that you can make your plans.
She must come to school next winter; remember that."
"I shan't do it, pastor!" was the reply.
"Do you think there is no way?" the clergyman replied, a little hotly.
"You know the world, for you have travelled far. What little sense you
"You think I am going to send this delicate child to school in every
storm and weather!" the old man said excitedly. "It is a two hours'
walk, and I shall not let her go; for the wind often howls so that it
chokes me if I venture out. Did you know Adelheid, her mother? She was
a sleep-walker, and had fainting-fits. Nobody shall compel me to let
her go; I will gladly fight it out in court."
"You are perfectly right," said the clergyman kindly. "You could not
send her to school from here. Why don't you come down to live among us
again? You are leading a strange life here; I wonder how you can keep
the child warm in winter."
"She has young blood and a good cover. I know where to find good wood,
and all winter I keep a fire going. I couldn't live in the village,
for the people there and I despise each other; we had better keep
"You are mistaken, I assure you! Make your peace with God, and then
you'll see how happy you will be."
The clergyman had risen, and holding out his hand, he said cordially:
"I shall count on you next winter, neighbor. We shall receive you
gladly, reconciled with God and man."
But the uncle replied firmly, while he shook his visitor by the hand:
"Thank you for your kindness, but you will have to wait in vain."
"God be with you," said the parson, and left him sadly.
The old man was out of humor that day, and when Heidi begged to go to
the grandmother, he only growled: "Not to-day." Next day they had
hardly finished their dinner, when another visitor arrived. It was
Heidi's aunt Deta; she wore a hat with feathers and a dress with such
a train that it swept up everything that lay on the cottage floor.
While the uncle looked at her silently, Deta began to praise him and
the child's red cheeks. She told him that it had not been her
intention to leave Heidi with him long, for she knew she must be in
his way. She had tried to provide for the child elsewhere, and at
last she had found a splendid chance for her. Very rich relations of
her lady, who owned the largest house in Frankfurt, had a lame
daughter. This poor little girl was confined to her rolling-chair and
needed a companion at her lessons. Deta had heard from her lady that a
sweet, quaint child was wanted as playmate and schoolmate for the
invalid. She had gone to the housekeeper and told her all about Heidi.
The lady, delighted with the idea, had told her to fetch the child at
once. She had come now, and it was a lucky chance for Heidi, "for one
never knew what might happen in such a case, and who could tell--"
"Have you finished?" the old man interrupted her at last.
"Why, one might think I was telling you the silliest things. There is
not a man in Prätiggan who would not thank God for such news."
"Bring them to somebody else, but not to me," said the uncle, coldly.
Deta, flaming up, replied: "Do you want to hear what I think? Don't I
know how old she is; eight years old and ignorant of everything. They
have told me that you refuse to send her to church and to school. She
is my only sister's child, and I shall not bear it, for I am
responsible. You do not care for her, how else could you be
indifferent to such luck. You had better give way or I shall get the
people to back me. If I were you, I would not have it brought to
court; some things might be warmed up that you would not care to hear
"Be quiet!" the uncle thundered with flaming eyes. "Take her and ruin
her, but do not bring her before my sight again. I do not want to see
her with feathers in her hat and wicked words like yours."
With long strides he went out.
"You have made him angry!" said Heidi with a furious look.
"He won't be cross long. But come now, where are your things?" asked
"I won't come," Heidi replied.
"What?" Deta said passionately. But changing her tone, she continued
in a more friendly manner: "Come now; you don't understand me. I am
taking you to the most beautiful place you have ever seen." After
packing up Heidi's clothes she said again, "Come, child, and take your
hat. It is not very nice, but we can't help it."
"I shall not come," was the reply.
"Don't be stupid and obstinate, like a goat. Listen to me. Grandfather
is sending us away and we must do what he commands, or he will get
more angry still. You'll see how fine it is in Frankfurt. If you do
not like it, you can come home again and by that time grandfather will
have forgiven us."
"Can I come home again to-night?" asked Heidi.
"Come now, I told you you could come back. If we get to Mayenfeld
today, we can take the train to-morrow. That will make you fly home
again in the shortest time!"
Holding the bundle, Deta led the child down the mountain. On their
way they met Peter, who had not gone to school that day. The boy
thought it was a more useful occupation to look for hazel-rods than to
learn to read, for he always needed the rods. He had had a most
successful day, for he carried an enormous bundle on his shoulder.
When he caught sight of Heidi and Deta, he asked them where they were
"I am going to Frankfurt with Aunt Deta," Heidi replied; "but first I
must see grandmother, for she is waiting."
"Oh no, it is too late. You can see her when you come back, but not
now," said Deta, pulling Heidi along with her, for she was afraid that
the old woman might detain the child.
Peter ran into the cottage and hit the table with his rods. The
grandmother jumped up in her fright and asked him what that meant.
"They have taken Heidi away," Peter said with a groan.
"Who has, Peter? Where has she gone?" the unhappy grandmother asked.
Brigida had seen Deta walking up the footpath a short while ago and
soon they guessed what had happened. With a trembling hand the old
woman opened a window and called out as loudly as she could: "Deta,
Deta, don't take the child away. Don't take her from us."
When Heidi heard that she struggled to get free, and said: "I must go
to grandmother; she is calling me."
But Deta would not let her go. She urged her on by saying that she
might return soon again. She also suggested that Heidi might bring a
lovely present to the grandmother when she came back.
Heidi liked this prospect and followed Deta without more ado. After a
while she asked: "What shall I bring to the grandmother?"
"You might bring her some soft white rolls, Heidi. I think the black
bread is too hard for poor grandmother to eat."
"Yes, I know, aunt, she always gives it to Peter," Heidi confirmed
her. "We must go quickly now; we might get to Frankfurt today and
then I can be back tomorrow with the rolls."
[Illustration: WHEN HEIDI HEARD THAT SHE STRUGGLED TO GET FREE]
Heidi was running now, and Deta had to follow. She was glad enough to
escape the questions that people might ask her in the village. People
could see that Heidi was pulling her along, so she said: "I can't
stop. Don't you see how the child is hurrying? We have still far to
go," whenever she heard from all sides: "Are you taking her with you?"
"Is she running away from the uncle?" "What a wonder she is still
alive!" "What red cheeks she has," and so on. Soon they had escaped
and had left the village far behind them.
From that time on the uncle looked more angry than ever when he came
to the village. Everybody was afraid of him, and the women would warn
their children to keep out of his sight.
He came down but seldom, and then only to sell his cheese and buy his
provisions. Often people remarked how lucky it was that Heidi had left
him. They had seen her hurrying away, so they thought that she had
been glad to go.
The old grandmother alone stuck to him faithfully. Whenever anybody
came up to her, she would tell them what good care the old man had
taken of Heidi. She also told them that he had mended her little
house. These reports reached the village, of course, but people only
half believed them, for the grandmother was infirm and old. She began
her days with sighing again. "All happiness has left us with the
child. The days are so long and dreary, and I have no joy left. If
only I could hear Heidi's voice before I die," the poor old woman
would exclaim, day after day.
A NEW CHAPTER WITH NEW THINGS
In a beautiful house in Frankfurt lived a sick child by the name of
Clara Sesemann. She was sitting in a comfortable rolling-chair, which
could be pushed from room to room. Clara spent most of her time in the
study, where long rows of bookcases lined the walls. This room was
used as a living-room, and here she was also given her lessons.
Clara had a pale, thin face with soft blue eyes, which at that moment
were watching the clock impatiently. At last she said: "Oh Miss
Rottenmeier, isn't it time yet?"
The lady so addressed was the housekeeper, who had lived with Clara
since Mrs. Sesemann's death. Miss Rottenmeier wore a peculiar uniform
with a long cape, and a high cap on her head. Clara's father, who was
away from home a great deal, left the entire management of the house
to this lady, on the condition that his daughter's wishes should
always be considered.
While Clara was waiting, Deta had arrived at the front door with
Heidi. She was asking the coachman who had brought her if she could go
"That's not my business," grumbled the coachman; "you must ring for
Sebastian, the butler, a man with large brass buttons on his coat,
soon stood before her.
"May I see Miss Rottenmeier?" Deta asked.
"That's not my business," the butler announced. "Ring for Tinette, the
maid." With that, he disappeared.
Deta, ringing again, saw a girl with a brilliant white cap on her
head, coming down the stairway. The maid stopped half-way down and
asked scornfully: "What do you want?"
Deta repeated her wish again. Tinette told her to wait while she went
upstairs, but it did not take long before the two were asked to come
Following the maid, they found themselves in the study. Deta held on
to Heidi's hand and stayed near the door.
Miss Rottenmeier, slowly getting up, approached the newcomers. She did
not seem pleased with Heidi, who wore her hat and shawl and was
looking up at the lady's headdress with innocent wonder.
"What is your name?" the lady asked.
"Heidi," was the child's clear answer.
"What? Is that a Christian name? What name did you receive in
baptism?" inquired the lady again.
"I don't remember that any more," the child replied.
"What an answer! What does that mean?" said the housekeeper, shaking
her head. "Is the child ignorant or pert, Miss Deta?"
"I shall speak for the child, if I may, madam," Deta said, after
giving Heidi a little blow for her unbecoming answer. "The child has
never been in such a fine house and does not know how to behave. I
hope the lady will forgive her manners. She is called Adelheid after
her mother, who was my sister."
"Oh well, that is better. But Miss Deta, the child seems peculiar for
her age. I thought I told you that Miss Clara's companion would have
to be twelve years old like her, to be able to share her studies. How
old is Adelheid?"
"I am sorry, but I am afraid she is somewhat younger than I thought. I
think she is about ten years old."
"Grandfather said that I was eight years old," said Heidi now. Deta
gave her another blow, but as the child had no idea why, she did not
"What, only eight years old!" Miss Rottenmeier exclaimed indignantly.
"How can we get along? What have you learned? What books have you
"None," said Heidi.
"But how did you learn to read?"
"I can't read and Peter can't do it either," Heidi retorted.
"For mercy's sake! you cannot read?" cried the lady in her surprise.
"How is it possible? What else have you studied?"
"Nothing," replied Heidi, truthfully.
"Miss Deta, how could you bring this child?" said the housekeeper,
when she was more composed.
Deta, however, was not easily intimidated, and said: "I am sorry, but
I thought this child would suit you. She "is" small, but older
children are often spoilt and not like her. I must go now, for my
mistress is waiting. As soon as I can, I'll come to see how the child
is getting along." With a bow she was outside and with a few quick
steps hurried down-stairs.
Miss Rottenmeier followed her and tried to call her back, for she
wanted to ask Deta a number of questions.
Heidi was still standing on the same spot. Clara had watched the
scene, and called to the child now to come to her.
Heidi approached the rolling-chair.
"Do you want to be called Heidi or Adelheid?" asked Clara.
"My name is Heidi and nothing else," was the child's answer.
"I'll call you Heidi then, for I like it very much," said Clara. "I
have never heard the name before. What curly hair you have! Was it
always like that?"
"I think so."
"Did you like to come to Frankfurt?" asked Clara again.
"Oh, no, but then I am going home again to-morrow, and shall bring
grandmother some soft white rolls," Heidi explained.
"What a curious child you are," said Clara. "You have come to
Frankfurt to stay with me, don't you know that? We shall have our
lessons together, and I think it will be great fun when you learn to
read. Generally the morning seems to have no end, for Mr. Candidate
comes at ten and stays till two. That is a long time, and he has to
yawn himself, he gets so tired. Miss Rottenmeier and he both yawn
together behind their books, but when I do it, Miss Rottenmeier makes
me take cod-liver oil and says that I am ill. So I must swallow my
yawns, for I hate the oil. What fun it will be now, when you learn to
Heidi shook her head doubtfully at these prospects.
"Everybody must learn to read, Heidi. Mr. Candidate is very patient
and will explain it all to you. You won't know what he means at first,
for it is difficult to understand him. It won't take long to learn,
though, and then you will know what he means."
When Miss Rottenmeier found that she was unable to recall Deta, she
came back to the children. She was in a very excited mood, for she
felt responsible for Heidi's coming and did not know how to cancel
this unfortunate step. She soon got up again to go to the dining-room,
criticising the butler and giving orders to the maid. Sebastian, not
daring to show his rage otherwise, noisily opened the folding doors.
When he went up to Clara's chair, he saw Heidi watching him intently.
At last she said: "You look like Peter."
Miss Rottenmeier was horrified with this remark, and sent them all
into the dining-room. After Clara was lifted on to her chair, the
housekeeper sat down beside her. Heidi was motioned to sit opposite
the lady. In that way they were placed at the enormous table. When
Heidi saw a roll on her plate, she turned to Sebastian, and pointing
at it, asked, "Can I have this?" Heidi had already great confidence in
the butler, especially on account of the resemblance she had
discovered. The butler nodded, and when he saw Heidi put the bread in
her pocket, could hardly keep from laughing. He came to Heidi now with
a dish of small baked fishes. For a long time the child did not move;
then turning her eyes to the butler, she said: "Must I eat that?"
Sebastian nodded, but another pause ensued. "Why don't you give it to
me?" the child quietly asked, looking at her plate. The butler, hardly
able to keep his countenance, was told to place the dish on the table
and leave the room.
When he was gone, Miss Rottenmeier explained to Heidi with many signs
how to help herself at table. She also told her never to speak to
Sebastian unless it was important. After that the child was told how
to accost the servants and the governess. When the question came up of
how to call Clara, the older girl said, "Of course you shall call me
A great many rules followed now about behavior at all times, about the
shutting of doors and about going to bed, and a hundred other things.
Poor Heidi's eyes were closing, for she had risen at five that
morning, and leaning against her chair she fell asleep. When Miss
Rottenmeier had finished instructions, she said: "I hope you will
remember everything, Adelheid. Did you understand me?"
"Heidi went to sleep a long time ago," said Clara, highly amused.
"It is atrocious what I have to bear with this child," exclaimed Miss
Rottenmeier, ringing the bell with all her might. When the two
servants arrived, they were hardly able to rouse Heidi enough to show
her to her bed-room.
MISS ROTTENMEIER HAS AN UNCOMFORTABLE DAY
When Heidi opened her eyes next morning, she did not know where she
was. She found herself on a high white bed in a spacious room. Looking
around she observed long white curtains before the windows, several
chairs, and a sofa covered with cretonne; in a corner she saw a
wash-stand with many curious things standing on it.
Suddenly Heidi remembered all the happenings of the previous day.
Jumping out of bed, she dressed in a great hurry. She was eager to
look at the sky and the ground below, as she had always done at home.
What was her disappointment when she found that the windows were too
high for her to see anything except the walls and windows opposite.
Trying to open them, she turned from one to the other, but in vain.
The poor child felt like a little bird that is placed in a glittering
cage for the first time. At last she had to resign herself, and sat
down on a low stool, thinking of the melting snow on the slopes and
the first flowers of spring that she had hailed with such delight.
Suddenly Tinette opened the door and said curtly: "Breakfast's ready."
Heidi did not take this for a summons, for the maid's face was
scornful and forbidding. She was waiting patiently for what would
happen next, when Miss Rottenmeier burst into the room, saying: "What
is the matter, Adelheid? Didn't you understand? Come to breakfast!"
Heidi immediately followed the lady into the dining-room, where Clara
greeted her with a smile. She looked much happier than usual, for she
expected new things to happen that day. When breakfast had passed
without disturbance, the two children were allowed to go into the
library together and were soon left alone.
"How can I see down to the ground?" Heidi asked.
"Open a window and peep out," replied Clara, amused at the question.
"But it is impossible to open them," Heidi said, sadly.
"Oh no. You can't do it and I can't help you, either, but if you ask
Sebastian he'll do it for you."
Heidi was relieved. The poor child had felt like a prisoner in her
room. Clara now asked Heidi what her home had been like, and Heidi
told her gladly about her life in the hut.
The tutor had arrived in the meantime, but he was not asked to go to
the study as usual. Miss Rottenmeier was very much excited about
Heidi's coming and all the complications that arose therefrom. She was
really responsible for it, having arranged everything herself. She
presented the unfortunate case before the teacher, for she wanted him
to help her to get rid of the child. Mr. Candidate, however, was
always careful of his judgments, and not afraid of teaching beginners.
When the lady saw that he would not side with her, she let him enter
the study alone, for the A,B,C held great horrors for her. While she
considered many problems, a frightful noise as of something falling
was heard in the adjoining room, followed by a cry to Sebastian for
help. Running in, she beheld a pile of books and papers on the floor,
with the table-cover on top. A black stream of ink flowed across the
length of the room. Heidi had disappeared.
"There," Miss Rottenmeier exclaimed, wringing her hands. "Everything
drenched with ink. Did such a thing ever happen before? This child
brings nothing but misfortunes on us."
The teacher was standing up, looking at the devastation, but Clara was
highly entertained by these events, and said: "Heidi has not done it
on purpose and must not be punished. In her hurry to get away she
caught on the table-cover and pulled it down. I think she must never
have seen a coach in all her life, for when she heard a carriage
rumbling by, she rushed out like mad."
"Didn't I tell you, Mr. Candidate, that she has no idea whatever about
behavior? She does not even know that she has to sit quiet at her
lessons. But where has she gone? What would Mr. Sesemann say if she
should run away?"
When Miss Rottenmeier went down-stairs to look for the child, she saw
her standing at the open door, looking down the street.
"What are you doing here? How can you run away like that?" scolded
"I heard the fir-trees rustle, but I can't see them and do not hear
them any more," replied Heidi, looking in great perplexity down the
street. The noise of the passing carriage had reminded her of the
roaring of the south-wind on the Alp.
"Fir-trees? What nonsense! We are not in a wood. Come with me now to
see what you have done." When Heidi saw the devastation that she had
caused, she was greatly surprised, for she had not noticed it in her
"This must never happen again," said the lady sternly. "You must sit
quiet at your lessons; if you get up again I shall tie you to your
chair. Do you hear me?"
Heidi understood, and gave a promise to sit quietly during her lessons
from that time on. After the servants had straightened the room, it
was late, and there was no more time for studies. Nobody had time to
yawn that morning.
In the afternoon, while Clara was resting, Heidi was left to herself.
She planted herself in the hall and waited for the butler to come
up-stairs with the silver things. When he reached the head of the
stairs, she said to him: "I want to ask you something." She saw that
the butler seemed angry, so she reassured him by saying that she did
not mean any harm.
"All right, Miss, what is it?"
"My name is not Miss, why don't you call me Heidi?"
"Miss Rottenmeier told me to call you Miss."
"Did she? Well then, it must be so. I have three names already,"
sighed the child.
"What can I do for you?" asked Sebastian now.
"Can you open a window for me?"
"Certainly," he replied.
Sebastian got a stool for Heidi, for the window-sill was too high for
her to see over. In great disappointment, Heidi turned her head away.
"I don't see anything but a street of stone. Is it the same way on the
other side of the house?"
"Where do you go to look far down on everything?"
"On a church-tower. Do you see that one over there with the golden
dome? From there you can overlook everything."
Heidi immediately stepped down from the stool and ran down-stairs.
Opening the door, she found herself in the street, but she could not
see the tower any more. She wandered on from street to street, not
daring to accost any of the busy people. Passing a corner, she saw a
boy who had a barrel-organ on his back and a curious animal on his
arm. Heidi ran to him and asked: "Where is the tower with the golden
"Don't know," was the reply.
"Who can tell me?"
"Can you show me another church with a tower?"
"Of course I can."
"Then come and show me."
"What are you going to give me for it?" said the boy, holding out his
hand. Heidi had nothing in her pocket but a little flower-picture.
Clara had only given it to her this morning, so she was loath to part
with it. The temptation to look far down into the valley was too
great for her, though, and she offered him the gift. The boy shook his
head, to Heidi's satisfaction.
"What else do you want?"
"I have none, but Clara has some. How much must I give you?"
"All right, but come."
While they were wandering down the street, Heidi found out what a
barrel-organ was, for she had never seen one. When they arrived before
an old church with a tower, Heidi was puzzled what to do next, but
having discovered a bell, she pulled it with all her might. The boy
agreed to wait for Heidi and show her the way home if she gave him a
The lock creaked now from inside, and an old man opened the door. In
an angry voice, he said: "How do you dare to ring for me? Can't you
see that it is only for those who want to see the tower?"
"But I do," said Heidi.
"What do you want to see? Did anybody send you?" asked the man.
"No; but I want to look down from up there."
"Get home and don't try it again." With that the tower-keeper was
going to shut the door, but Heidi held his coat-tails and pleaded with
him to let her come. The tower-keeper looked at the child's eyes,
which were nearly full of tears.
"All right, come along, if you care so much," he said, taking her by
the hand. The two climbed up now many, many steps, which got narrower
all the time. When they had arrived on top, the old man lifted Heidi
up to the open window.
Heidi saw nothing but a sea of chimneys, roofs and towers, and her
heart sank. "Oh, dear, it's different from the way I thought it would
be," she said.
"There! what could such a little girl know about a view? We'll go down
now and you must promise never to ring at my tower any more."
On their way they passed an attic, where a large grey cat guarded her
new family in a basket. This cat caught half-a-dozen mice every day
for herself, for the old tower was full of rats and mice. Heidi gazed
at her in surprise, and was delighted when the old man opened the
"What charming kittens, what cunning little creatures!" she exclaimed
in her delight, when she saw them crawling about, jumping and
"Would you like to have one?" the old man asked.
"For me? to keep?" Heidi asked, for she could not believe her ears.
"Yes, of course. You can have several if you have room for them," the
old man said, glad to find a good home for the kittens.
How happy Heidi was! Of course there was enough room in the huge
house, and Clara would be delighted when she saw the cunning things.
"How can I take them with me?" the child asked, after she had tried in
vain to catch one.
"I can bring them to your house, if you tell me where you live," said
Heidi's new friend, while he caressed the old cat, who had lived with
him many years.
"Bring them to Mr. Sesemann's house; there is a golden dog on the
door, with a ring in his mouth."
The old man had lived in the tower a long time and knew everybody;
Sebastian also was a special friend of his.
"I know," he said. "But to whom shall I send them? Do you belong to
"No. Please send them to Clara; she will like them, I am sure."
Heidi could hardly tear herself away from the pretty things, so the
old man put one kitten in each of her pockets to console her. After
that she went away.
The boy was waiting patiently for her, and when she had taken leave of
the tower-keeper, she asked the boy: "Do you know where Mr. Sesemann's
"No," was the reply.
She described it as well as she could, till the boy remembered it. Off
they started, and soon Heidi found herself pulling the door-bell. When
Sebastian arrived he said: "Hurry up." Heidi went in, and the boy was
left outside, for Sebastian had not even seen him.
"Come up quickly, little Miss," he urged. "They are all waiting for
you in the dining-room. Miss Rottenmeier looks like a loaded cannon.
How could you run away like that?"
Heidi sat down quietly on her chair. Nobody said a word, and there was
an uncomfortable silence. At last Miss Rottenmeier began with a severe
and solemn voice: "I shall speak with you later, Adelheid. How can you
leave the house without a word? Your behavior was very remiss. The
idea of walking about till so late!"
"Meow!" was the reply.
"I didn't," Heidi began--"Meow!"
Sebastian nearly flung the dish on the table, and disappeared.
"This is enough," Miss Rottenmeier tried to say, but her voice was
hoarse with fury. "Get up and leave the room."
[Illustration: OFF THEY STARTED, AND SOON HEIDI WAS PULLING THE
Heidi got up. She began again. "I made--" "Meow! meow! meow!--"
"Heidi," said Clara now, "why do you always say 'meow' again, if you
see that Miss Rottenmeier is angry?"
"I am not doing it, it's the kittens," she explained.
"What? Cats? Kittens?" screamed the housekeeper. "Sebastian, Tinette,
take the horrible things away!" With that she ran into the study,
locking herself in, for she feared kittens beyond anything on earth.
When Sebastian had finished his laugh, he came into the room. He had
foreseen the excitement, having caught sight of the kittens when Heidi
came in. The scene was a very peaceful one now; Clara held the little
kittens in her lap, and Heidi was kneeling beside her. They both
played happily with the two graceful creatures. The butler promised to
look after the new-comers and prepared a bed for them in a basket.
A long time afterwards, when it was time to go to bed, Miss
Rottenmeier cautiously opened the door. "Are they away?" she asked.
"Yes," replied the butler, quickly seizing the kittens and taking them
The lecture that Miss Rottenmeier was going to give Heidi was
postponed to the following day, for the lady was too much exhausted
after her fright. They all went quietly to bed, and the children were
happy in the thought that their kittens had a comfortable bed.
GREAT DISTURBANCES IN THE SESEMANN HOUSE
A short time after the tutor had arrived next morning, the door-bell
rang so violently that Sebastian thought it must be Mr. Sesemann
himself. What was his surprise when a dirty street-boy, with a
barrel-organ on his back, stood before him!
"What do you mean by pulling the bell like that?" the butler said.
"I want to see Clara."
"Can't you at least say 'Miss Clara', you ragged urchin?" said
"She owes me forty pennies," said the boy.
"You are crazy! How do you know Miss Clara lives here?"
"I showed her the way yesterday and she promised to give me forty
"What nonsense! Miss Clara never goes out. You had better take
yourself off, before I send you!"
The boy, however, did not even budge, and said: "I saw her. She has
curly hair, black eyes and talks in a funny way."
"Oh," Sebastian chuckled to himself, "that was the little Miss."
Pulling the boy into the house, he said: "All right, you can follow
me. Wait at the door till I call you, and then you can play something
for Miss Clara."
Knocking at the study-door, Sebastian said, when he had entered: "A
boy is here who wants to see Miss Clara."
Clara, delighted at his interruption, said: "Can't he come right up,
But the boy was already inside, and started to play. Miss Rottenmeier
was in the adjoining room when she heard the sounds. Where did they
come from? Hurrying into the study, she saw the street-boy playing to
the eager children.
"Stop! stop!" she called, but in vain, for the music drowned her
voice. Suddenly she made a big jump, for there, between her feet,
crawled a black turtle. Only when she shrieked for Sebastian could her
voice be heard. The butler came straight in, for he had seen
everything behind the door, and a great scene it had been! Glued to a
chair in her fright, Miss Rottenmeier called: "Send the boy away! Take
Sebastian obediently pulled the boy after him; then he said: "Here are
forty pennies from Miss Clara and forty more for playing. It was well
done, my boy."
With that he closed the door behind him. Miss Rottenmeier found it
wiser now to stay in the study to prevent further disturbances.
Suddenly there was another knock at the door. Sebastian appeared with
a large basket, which had been brought for Clara.
"We had better have our lesson before we inspect it," said Miss
Rottenmeier. But Clara, turning to the tutor, asked: "Oh, please, Mr.
Candidate, can't we just peep in, to see what it is?"
"I am afraid that you will think of nothing else," the teacher began.
Just then something in the basket, which had been only lightly
fastened, moved, and one, two, three and still more little kittens
jumped out, scampering around the room with the utmost speed. They
bounded over the tutor's boots and bit his trousers; they climbed up
on Miss Rottenmeier's dress and crawled around her feet. Mewing and
running, they caused a frightful confusion. Clara called out in
delight: "Oh, look at the cunning creatures; look how they jump!
Heidi, look at that one, and oh, see the one over there?"
Heidi followed them about, while the teacher shook them off. When the
housekeeper had collected her wits after the great fright, she called
for the servants. They soon arrived and stored the little kittens
safely in the new bed.
No time had been found for yawning that day, either!
When Miss Rottenmeier, who had found out the culprit, was alone with
the children in the evening, she began severely:
"Adelheid, there is only one punishment for you. I am going to send
you to the cellar, to think over your dreadful misdeeds, in company
with the rats."
A cellar held no terrors for Heidi, for in her grandfather's cellar
fresh milk and the good cheese had been kept, and no rats had lodged
But Clara shrieked: "Oh, Miss Rottenmeier, you must wait till Papa
comes home, and then he can punish Heidi."
The lady unwillingly replied: "All right, Clara, but I shall also
speak a few words to Mr. Sesemann." With those words she left the
room. Since the child's arrival everything had been upset, and the
lady often felt discouraged, though nothing remarkable happened for a
Clara, on the contrary, enjoyed her companion's society, for she
always did funny things. In her lesson she could never get her letters
straight. They meant absolutely nothing to her, except that they would
remind her of goats and eagles. The girls always spent their evenings
together, and Heidi would entertain her friend with tales of her
former life, till her longing grew so great that she added: "I have to
go home now. I must go tomorrow."
Clara's soothing words and the prospect of more rolls for the
grandmother kept the child. Every day after dinner she was left alone
in her room for some hours. Thinking of the green fields at home, of
the sparkling flowers on the mountains, she would sit in a corner till
her desire for all those things became too great to bear. Her aunt had
clearly told her that she might return, if she wished to do so, so one
day she resolved to leave for the Alm-hut. In a great hurry she packed
the bread in the red shawl, and putting on her old straw hat, started
off. The poor child did not get very far. At the door she encountered
Miss Rottenmeier, who stared at Heidi in mute surprise.
"What are you up to?" she exploded. "Haven't I forbidden you to run
away? You look like a vagabond!"
"I was only going home," whispered the frightened child.
"What, you want to run away from this house? What would Mr. Sesemann
say? What is it that does not suit you here? Don't you get better
treatment than you deserve? Have you ever before had such food,
service and such a room? Answer!"
"No," was the reply.
"Don't I know that?" the furious lady proceeded. "What a thankless
child you are, just idle and good-for-nothing!"
But Heidi could not bear it any longer. She loudly wailed: "Oh, I want
to go home. What will poor Snowhopper do without me? Grandmother is
waiting for me every day. Poor Thistlefinch gets blows if Peter gets
no cheese, and I must see the sun again when he says good-night to the
mountains. How the eagle would screech if he saw all the people here
"For mercy's sake, the child is crazy!" exclaimed Miss Rottenmeier,
running up the stairs. In her hurry she had bumped into Sebastian,
who was just then coming down.
"Bring the unlucky child up!" she called to him, rubbing her head.
"All right, many thanks," answered the butler, rubbing his head, too,
for he had encountered something far harder than she had.
When the butler came down, he saw Heidi standing near the door with
flaming eyes, trembling all over. Cheerfully he asked: "What has
happened, little one? Do not take it to heart, and cheer up. She
nearly made a hole in my head just now, but we must not get
discouraged. Oh, no!--Come, up with you; she said so!"
Heidi walked up-stairs very slowly. Seeing her so changed, Sebastian
"Don't give in! Don't be so sad! You have been so courageous till now;
I have never heard you cry yet. Come up now, and when the lady's away
we'll go and look at the kittens. They are running round like wild!"
Nodding cheerlessly, the child disappeared in her room.
That night at supper Miss Rottenmeier watched Heidi constantly, but
nothing happened. The child sat as quiet as a mouse, hardly touching
her food, except the little roll.
Talking with the tutor next morning, Miss Rottenmeier told him her
fears about Heidi's mind. But the teacher had more serious troubles
still, for Heidi had not even learned her A,B,C in all this time.
Heidi was sorely in need of some clothes, so Clara had given her some.
Miss Rottenmeier was just busy arranging the child's wardrobe, when
she suddenly returned.
"Adelheid," she said contemptuously, "what do I find? A big pile of
bread in your wardrobe! I never heard the like. Yes, Clara, it is
true." Then, calling Tinette, she ordered her to take away the bread
and the old straw hat she had found.
"No, don't! I must keep my hat! The bread is for grandmother," cried
Heidi in despair.
"You stay here, while we take the rubbish away," said the lady
Heidi threw herself down now on Clara's chair and sobbed as if her
heart would break.
"Now I can't bring grandmother any rolls! Oh, they were for
grandmother!" she lamented.
"Heidi, don't cry any more," Clara begged. "Listen! When you go home
some day, I am going to give you as many rolls as you had, and more.
They will be much softer and better than those stale ones you have
kept. Those were not fit to eat, Heidi. Stop now, please, and don't
cry any more!"
Only after a long, long time did Heidi become quiet. When she had
heard Clara's promise, she cried: "Are you really going to give me as
many as I had?"
At supper, Heidi's eyes were swollen and it was still hard for her to
keep from crying. Sebastian made strange signs to her that she did not
understand. What did he mean?
Later, though, when she climbed into her high bed, she found her old
beloved straw hat hidden under her cover. So Sebastian had saved it
for her and had tried to tell her! She crushed it for joy, and
wrapping it in a handkerchief, she hid it in the furthest corner of
THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE HEARS OF STRANGE DOINGS
A few days afterwards there was great excitement in the Sesemann
residence, for the master of the house had just arrived. The servants
were taking upstairs one load after another, for Mr. Sesemann always
brought many lovely things home with him.
When he entered his daughter's room, Heidi shyly retreated into a
corner. He greeted Clara affectionately, and she was equally delighted
to see him, for she loved her father dearly. Then he called to Heidi:
"Oh, there is our little Swiss girl. Come and give me your hand!
That's right. Are you good friends, my girls, tell me now? You don't
fight together, what?"
"Oh, no, Clara is always kind to me," Heidi replied.
"Heidi has never even tried to fight, Papa," Clara quickly remarked.
"That's good, I like to hear that," said the father rising. "I must
get my dinner now, for I am hungry. I shall come back soon and show
you what I have brought home with me."
In the dining-room he found Miss Rottenmeier surveying the table with
a most tragic face. "You do not look very happy at my arrival, Miss
Rottenmeier. What is the matter? Clara seems well enough," he said to
"Oh, Mr. Sesemann, we have been terribly disappointed," said the lady.
"How do you mean?" asked Mr. Sesemann, calmly sipping his wine.
"We had decided, as you know, to have a companion for Clara. Knowing
as I did that you would wish me to get a noble, pure child, I thought
of this Swiss child, hoping she would go through life like a breath of
pure air, hardly touching the earth."
"I think that even Swiss children are made to touch the earth,
otherwise they would have to have wings."
"I think you understand what I mean. I have been terribly
disappointed, for this child has brought the most frightful animals
into the house. Mr. Candidate can tell you!"
"The child does not look very terrible. But what do you mean?"
"I cannot explain it, because she does not seem in her right mind at
Mr. Sesemann was getting worried at last, when the tutor entered.
"Oh, Mr. Candidate, I hope you will explain. Please take a cup of
coffee with me and tell me about my daughter's companion. Make it
short, if you please!"
But this was impossible for Mr. Candidate, who had to greet Mr.
Sesemann first. Then he began to reassure his host about the child,
pointing out to him that her education had been neglected till then,
and so on. But poor Mr. Sesemann, unfortunately, did not get his
answer, and had to listen to very long-winded explanations of the
child's character. At last Mr. Sesemann got up, saying: "Excuse me,
Mr. Candidate, but I must go over to Clara now."
He found the children in the study. Turning to Heidi, who had risen at
his approach, he said: "Come, little one, get me--get me a glass of
"Of course, fresh water," he replied. When Heidi had gone, he sat down
near Clara, holding her hand. "Tell me, little Clara," he asked,
"please tell me clearly what animals Heidi has brought into the house;
is she really not right in her mind?"
Clara now began to relate to her father all the incidents with the
kittens and the turtle, and explained Heidi's speeches that had so
frightened the lady. Mr. Sesemann laughed heartily and asked Clara if
she wished Heidi to remain.
"Of course, Papa. Since she is here, something amusing happens every
day; it used to be so dull, but now Heidi keeps me company."
"Very good, very good, Clara; Oh! Here is your friend back again. Did
you get nice fresh water?" asked Mr. Sesemann.
Heidi handed him the glass and said: "Yes, fresh from the fountain."
"You did not go to the fountain yourself, Heidi?" said Clara.
"Certainly, but I had to get it from far, there were so many people at
the first and at the second fountain. I had to go down another street
and there I got it. A gentleman with white hair sends his regards to
you, Mr. Sesemann."
Clara's father laughed and asked: "Who was the gentleman?"
"When he passed by the fountain and saw me there with a glass, he
stood still and said: 'Please give me to drink, for you have a glass;
to whom are you bringing the water?' Then I said: 'I am bringing it to
Mr. Sesemann.' When he heard that he laughed very loud and gave me his
regards for you, with the wish that you would enjoy your drink."
"I wonder who it was? What did the gentleman look like?"
"He has a friendly laugh and wears a gold pendant with a red stone on
his thick gold chain; there is a horsehead on his cane."
"Oh, that was the doctor--" "That was my old doctor," exclaimed father
and daughter at the same time.
In the evening, Mr. Sesemann told Miss Rottenmeier that Heidi was
going to remain, for the children were very fond of each other and he
found Heidi normal and very sweet. "I want the child to be treated
kindly," Mr. Sesemann added decidedly. "Her peculiarities must not be
punished. My mother is coming very soon to stay here, and she will
help you to manage the child, for there is nobody in this world that
my mother could not get along with, as you know, Miss Rottenmeier."
"Of course, I know that, Mr. Sesemann," replied the lady, but she was
not very much pleased at the prospect.
Mr. Sesemann only stayed two weeks, for his business called him back
to Paris. He consoled his daughter by telling her that his mother was
coming in a very few days. Mr. Sesemann had hardly left, when the
grandmother's visit was announced for the following day.
Clara was looking forward to this visit, and told Heidi so much about
her dear grandmama that Heidi also began to call her by that name, to
Miss Rottenmeier's disapproval, who thought that the child was not
entitled to this intimacy.
The following evening great expectation reigned in the house. Tinette
had put on a new cap, Sebastian was placing footstools in front of
nearly every armchair, and Miss Rottenmeier walked with great dignity
about the house, inspecting everything.
When the carriage at last drove up, the servants flew downstairs,
followed by Miss Rottenmeier in more measured step. Heidi had been
sent to her room to await further orders, but it was not long before
Tinette opened the door and said brusquely: "Go into the study!"
The grandmama, with her kind and loving way, immediately befriended
the child and made her feel as if she had known her always. To the
housekeeper's great mortification, she called the child Heidi,
remarking to Miss Rottenmeier: "If somebody's name is Heidi, I call
The housekeeper soon found that she had to respect the grandmother's
ways and opinions. Mrs. Sesemann always knew what was going on in the
house the minute she entered it. On the following afternoon Clara was
resting and the old lady had shut her eyes for five minutes, when she
got up again and went into the dining-room. With a suspicion that the
housekeeper was probably asleep, she went to this lady's room,
knocking loudly on the door. After a while somebody stirred inside,
and with a bewildered face Miss Rottenmeier appeared, staring at the
"Rottenmeier, where is the child? How does she pass her time? I want
to know," said Mrs. Sesemann.
"She just sits in her room, not moving a finger; she has not the
slightest desire to do something useful, and that is why she thinks of
such absurd things that one can hardly mention them in polite
"I should do exactly the same thing, if I were left alone like that.
Please bring her to my room now, I want to show her some pretty books
I have brought with me."
"That is just the trouble. What should she do with books? In all this
time she has not even learned the A,B,C for it is impossible to instil
any knowledge into this being. If Mr. Candidate was not as patient as
an angel, he would have given up teaching her long ago."
"How strange! The child does not look to me like one who cannot learn
the A,B,C," said Mrs. Sesemann. "Please fetch her now; we can look at
the pictures anyway."
The housekeeper was going to say more, but the old lady had turned
already and gone to her room. She was thinking over what she had heard
about Heidi, making up her mind to look into the matter.
Heidi had come and was looking with wondering eyes at the splendid
pictures in the large books, that Grandmama was showing her. Suddenly
she screamed aloud, for there on the picture she saw a peaceful flock
grazing on a green pasture. In the middle a shepherd was standing,
leaning on his crook. The setting sun was shedding a golden light over
everything. With glowing eyes Heidi devoured the scene; but suddenly
she began to sob violently.
The grandmama took her little hand in hers and said in the most
soothing voice: "Come, child, you must not cry. Did this remind you of
something? Now stop, and I'll tell you the story to-night. There are
lovely stories in this book, that people can read and tell. Dry your
tears now, darling, I must ask you something. Stand up now and look at
me! Now we are merry again!"
Heidi did not stop at once, but the kind lady gave her ample time to
compose herself, saying from time to time: "Now it's all over. Now
we'll be merry again."
When the child was quiet at last, she said: "Tell me now how your
lessons are going. What have you learnt, child, tell me?"
"Nothing," Heidi sighed; "but I knew that I never could learn it."
"What is it that you can't learn?"
"I can't learn to read; it is too hard."
"What next? Who gave you this information?"
"Peter told me, and he tried over and over again, but he could not do
it, for it is too hard."
"Well, what kind of boy is he? Heidi, you must not believe what Peter
tells you, but try for yourself. I am sure you had your thoughts
elsewhere when Mr. Candidate showed you the letters."
"It's no use," Heidi said with such a tone as if she was resigned to
"I am going to tell you something, Heidi," said the kind lady now.
"You have not learnt to read because you have believed what Peter
said. You shall believe me now, and I prophesy that you will learn it
in a very short time, as a great many other children do that are like
you and not like Peter. When you can read, I am going to give you this
book. You have seen the shepherd on the green pasture, and then you'll
be able to find out all the strange things that happen to him. Yes,
you can hear the whole story, and what he does with his sheep and his
goats. You would like to know, wouldn't you, Heidi?"
Heidi had listened attentively, and said now with sparkling eyes: "If
I could only read already!"
"It won't be long, I can see that. Come now and let us go to Clara."
With that they both went over to the study.
Since the day of Heidi's attempted flight a great change had come over
the child. She had realized that it would hurt her kind friends if she
tried to go home again. She knew now that she could not leave, as her
Aunt Deta had promised, for they all, especially Clara and her father
and the old lady, would think her ungrateful. But the burden grew
heavier in her heart and she lost her appetite, and got paler and
paler. She could not get to sleep at night from longing to see the
mountains with the flowers and the sunshine, and only in her dreams
she would be happy. When she woke up in the morning, she always found
herself on her high white bed, far away from home. Burying her head in
her pillow, she would often weep a long, long time.
Mrs. Sesemann had noticed the child's unhappiness, but let a few days
pass by, hoping for a change. But the change never came, and often
Heidi's eyes were red even in the early morning. So she called the
child to her room one day and said, with great sympathy in her voice:
"Tell me, Heidi, what is the matter with you? What is making you so
But as Heidi did not want to appear thankless, she replied sadly: "I
can't tell you."
"No? Can't you tell Clara perhaps?"
"Oh, no, I can't tell anyone," Heidi said, looking so unhappy that the
old lady's heart was filled with pity.
"I tell you something, little girl," she continued. "If you have a
sorrow that you cannot tell to anyone, you can go to Our Father in
Heaven. You can tell Him everything that troubles you, and if we ask
Him He can help us and take our suffering away. Do you understand me,
child? Don't you pray every night? Don't you thank Him for all His
gifts and ask Him to protect you from evil?"
"Oh no, I never do that," replied the child.
"Have you never prayed, Heidi? Do you know what I mean?"
"I only prayed with my first grandmother, but it is so long ago, that
I have forgotten."
"See, Heidi, I understand now why you are so unhappy. We all need
somebody to help us, and just think how wonderful it is, to be able to
go to the Lord, when something distresses us and causes us pain. We
can tell Him everything and ask Him to comfort us, when nobody else
can do it. He can give us happiness and joy."
Heidi was gladdened by these tidings, and asked: "Can we tell Him
"Yes, Heidi, everything."
The child, withdrawing her hand from the grandmama, said hurriedly,
"Can I go now?"
"Yes, of course," was the reply, and with this Heidi ran to her room.
Sitting down on a stool she folded her hands and poured out her heart
to God, imploring Him to help her and let her go home to her
About a week later, Mr. Candidate asked to see Mrs. Sesemann, to tell
her of something unusual that had occurred. Being called to the lady's
room, he began: "Mrs. Sesemann, something has happened that I never
expected," and with many more words the happy grandmama was told that
Heidi had suddenly learned to read with the utmost correctness, most
rare with beginners.
"Many strange things happen in this world," Mrs. Sesemann remarked,
while they went over to the study to witness Heidi's new
accomplishment. Heidi was sitting close to Clara, reading her a story;
she seemed amazed at the strange, new world that had opened up before
her. At supper Heidi found the large book with the beautiful pictures
on her plate, and looking doubtfully at grandmama, she saw the old
lady nod. "Now it belongs to you, Heidi," she said.
"Forever? Also when I am going home?" Heidi inquired, confused with
"Certainly, forever!" the grandmama assured her. "Tomorrow we shall
begin to read it."
"But Heidi, you must not go home; no, not for many years," Clara
exclaimed, "especially when grandmama goes away. You must stay with
Heidi still looked at her book before going to bed that night, and
this book became her dearest treasure. She would look at the beautiful
pictures and read all the stories aloud to Clara. Grandmama would
quietly listen and explain something here and there, making it more
beautiful than before. Heidi loved the pictures with the shepherd best
of all; they told the story of the prodigal son, and the child would
read and re-read it till she nearly knew it all by heart. Since Heidi
had learned to read and possessed the book, the days seemed to fly,
and the time had come near that the grandmama had fixed for her
HEIDI GAINS IN SOME RESPECTS AND LOSES IN OTHERS
The grandmama sent for Heidi every day after dinner, while Clara was
resting and Miss Rottenmeier disappeared into her room. She talked to
Heidi and amused her in various ways, showing her how to make clothes
for pretty little dolls that she had brought. Unconsciously Heidi had
learned to sew, and made now the sweetest dresses and coats for the
little people out of lovely materials the grandmama would give her.
Often Heidi would read to the old lady, for the oftener she read over
the stories the dearer they became to her. The child lived everything
through with the people in the tales and was always happy to be with
them again. But she never looked really cheerful and her eyes never
sparkled merrily as before.
In the last week of Mrs. Sesemann's stay, Heidi was called again to
the old lady's room. The child entered with her beloved book under her
arm. Mrs. Sesemann drew Heidi close to her, and laying the book aside,
she said: "Come, child, and tell me why you are so sad. Do you still
have the same sorrow?"
"Yes," Heidi replied.
"Did you confide it to Our Lord?"
"Do you pray to Him every day that He may make you happy again and
take your affliction away?"
"Oh no, I don't pray any more."
"What do I hear, Heidi? Why don't you pray?"
"It does not help, for God has not listened. I don't wonder," she
added, "for if all the people in Frankfurt pray every night, He cannot
listen to them all. I am sure He has not heard me."
"Really? Why are you so sure?"
"Because I have prayed for the same thing many, many weeks and God has
not done what I have asked Him to."
"That is not the way, Heidi. You see, God in heaven is a good Father
to all of us, who knows what we need better than we do. When something
we ask for is not very good for us, He gives us something much better,
if we confide in Him and do not lose confidence in His love. I am sure
what you asked for was not very good for you just now; He has heard
you, for He can hear the prayers of all the people in the world at the
same time, because He is God Almighty and not a mortal like us. He
heard your prayers and said to Himself: 'Yes, Heidi shall get what she
is praying for in time.' Now, while God was looking down on you to
hear your prayers, you lost confidence and went away from Him. If God
does not hear your prayers any more, He will forget you also and let
you go. Don't you want to go back to Him, Heidi, and ask His
forgiveness? Pray to Him every day, and hope in Him, that He may bring
cheer and happiness to you."
Heidi had listened attentively; she had unbounded confidence in the
old lady, whose words had made a deep impression on her. Full of
repentance, she said: "I shall go at once and ask Our Father to pardon
me. I shall never forget Him any more!"
"That's right, Heidi; I am sure He will help you in time, if you only
trust in Him," the grandmother consoled her. Heidi went to her room
now and prayed earnestly to God that He would forgive her and fulfill
The day of departure had come, but Mrs. Sesemann arranged everything
in such a way that the children hardly realized she was actually
going. Still everything was empty and quiet when she had gone, and the
children hardly knew how to pass their time.
Next day, Heidi came to Clara in the afternoon and said: "Can I
always, always read to you now, Clara?"
Clara assented, and Heidi began. But she did not get very far, for the
story she was reading told of a grandmother's death. Suddenly she
cried aloud: "Oh, now grandmother is dead!" and wept in the most
pitiful fashion. Whatever Heidi read always seemed real to her, and
now she thought it was her own grandmother at home. Louder and louder
she sobbed: "Now poor grandmother is dead and I can never see her any
more; and she never got one single roll!"
Clara attempted to explain the mistake, but Heidi was too much upset.
She pictured to herself how terrible it would be if her dear old
grandfather would die too while she was far away. How quiet and empty
it would be in the hut, and how lonely she would be!
Miss Rottenmeier had overheard the scene, and approaching the sobbing
child she said impatiently: "Adelheid, now you have screamed enough.
If I hear you again giving way to yourself in such a noisy fashion, I
shall take your book away forever!"
Heidi turned pale at that, for the book was her greatest treasure.
Quickly drying her tears, she choked down her sobs. After that Heidi
never cried again; often she could hardly repress her sobs and was
obliged to make the strangest faces to keep herself from crying out.
Clara often looked at her, full of surprise, but Miss Rottenmeier did
not notice them and found no occasion to carry out her threat.
However, the poor child got more cheerless every day, and looked so
thin and pale that Sebastian became worried. He tried to encourage her
at table to help herself to all the good dishes, but listlessly she
would let them pass and hardly touch them. In the evening she would
cry quietly, her heart bursting with longing to go home.
Thus the time passed by. Heidi never knew if it was summer or winter,
for the walls opposite never changed. They drove out very seldom, for
Clara was only able to go a short distance. They never saw anything
else than streets, houses and busy people; no grass, no fir-trees and
no mountains. Heidi struggled constantly against her sorrow, but in
vain. Autumn and winter had passed, and Heidi knew that the time was
coming when Peter would go up the Alp with his goats, where the
flowers were glistening in the sunshine and the mountains were all
afire. She would sit down in a corner of her room and put both hands
before her eyes, not to see the glaring sunshine on the opposite wall.
There she would remain, eating her heart away with longing, till Clara
would call for her to come.
[Illustration: THERE SHE WOULD REMAIN, EATING HER HEART AWAY WITH
THE SESEMANN HOUSE IS HAUNTED
For several days Miss Rottenmeier had been wandering silently about
the house. When she went from room to room or along the corridors, she
would often glance back as if she were afraid that somebody was
following her. If she had to go to the upper floor, where the gorgeous
guest-rooms were, or to the lower story, where the big ball-room was
situated, she always told Tinette to come with her. The strange thing
was, that none of the servants dared to go anywhere alone and always
found an excuse to ask each other's company, which requests were
always granted. The cook, who had been in the house for many years,
would often shake her head and mutter: "That I should live to see
Something strange and weird was happening in the house. Every
morning, when the servants came down-stairs, they found the front door
wide open. At first everybody had thought that the house must have
been robbed, but nothing was missing. Every morning it was the same,
despite the double locks that were put on the door. At last John and
Sebastian, taking courage, prepared themselves to watch through a
night to see who was the ghost. Armed and provided with some
strengthening liquor, they repaired to a room down-stairs. First they
talked, but soon, getting sleepy, they leaned silently back in their
chairs. When the clock from the old church tower struck one, Sebastian
awoke and roused his comrade, which was no easy matter. At last,
however, John was wide awake, and together they went out into the
hall. The same moment a strong wind put out the light that John held
in his hand. Rushing back, he nearly upset Sebastian, who stood behind
him, and pulling the butler back into the room, he locked the door in
furious haste. When the light was lit again, Sebastian noticed that
John was deadly pale and trembling like an aspen leaf. Sebastian, not
having seen anything, asked anxiously: "What is the matter? What did
"The door was open and a white form was on the stairs; it went up and
was gone in a moment," gasped John. Cold shivers ran down the butler's
back. They sat without moving till the morning came, and then,
shutting the door, they went upstairs to report to the housekeeper
what they had seen. The lady, who was waiting eagerly, heard the tale
and immediately sat down to write to Mr. Sesemann. She told him that
fright had paralyzed her fingers and that terrible things were
happening in the house. Then followed a tale of the appearance of the
ghost. Mr. Sesemann replied that he could not leave his business, and
advised Miss Rottenmeier to ask his mother to come to stay with them,
for Mrs. Sesemann would easily despatch the ghost. Miss Rottenmeier
was offended with the tone of the letter, which did not seem to take
her account seriously. Mrs. Sesemann also replied that she could not
come, so the housekeeper decided to tell the children all about it.
Clara, at the uncanny tale, immediately exclaimed that she would not
stay alone another moment and that she wished her father to come home.
The housekeeper arranged to sleep with the frightened child, while
Heidi, who did not know what ghosts were, was perfectly unmoved.
Another letter was despatched to Mr. Sesemann, telling him that the
excitement might have serious effects on his daughter's delicate
constitution, and mentioning several misfortunes that might probably
happen if he did not relieve the household from this terror.
This brought Mr. Sesemann. Going to his daughter's room after his
arrival, he was overjoyed to see her as well as ever. Clara was also
delighted to see her father.
"What new tricks has the ghost played on you, Miss Rottenmeier?" asked
Mr. Sesemann with a twinkle in his eye.
"It is no joke, Mr. Sesemann," replied the lady seriously. "I am sure
you will not laugh tomorrow. Those strange events indicate that
something secret and horrible has happened in this house in days gone
"Is that so? this is new to me," remarked Mr. Sesemann. "But will you
please not suspect my venerable ancestors? Please call Sebastian; I
want to speak to him alone."
Mr. Sesemann knew that the two were not on good terms, so he said to
"Come here, Sebastian, and tell me honestly, if you have played the
ghost for Miss Rottenmeier's pastime?"
"No, upon my word, master; you must not think that," replied Sebastian
frankly. "I do not like it quite myself."
"Well, I'll show you and John what ghosts look like by day. You ought
to be ashamed of yourselves, strong young men like you! Now go at once
to my old friend, Dr. Classen, and tell him to come to me at nine
o'clock to-night. Tell him that I came from Paris especially to
consult him, and that I want him to sit up all night with me. Do you
understand me, Sebastian?"
"Yes indeed! I shall do as you say, Mr. Sesemann." Mr. Sesemann then
went up to Clara's room to quiet and comfort her.
Punctually at nine o'clock the doctor arrived. Though his hair was
grey, his face was still fresh, and his eyes were lively and kind.
When he saw his friend, he laughed aloud and said: "Well, well, you
look pretty healthy for one who needs to be watched all night."
"Have patience, my old friend," replied Mr. Sesemann. "I am afraid the
person we have to sit up for will look worse, but first we must catch
"What? Then somebody "is" sick in this house? What do you mean?"
"Far worse, doctor, far worse. A ghost is in the house. My house is
When the doctor laughed, Mr. Sesemann continued: "I call that
sympathy; I wish my friend Miss Rottenmeier could hear you. She is
convinced that an old Sesemann is wandering about, expiating some
"How did she make his acquaintance?" asked the doctor, much amused.
Mr. Sesemann then explained the circumstances. He said that the matter
was either a bad joke which an acquaintance of the servants was
playing in his absence, or it was a gang of thieves, who, after
intimidating the people, would surely rob his house by and by.
With these explanations they entered the room where the two servants
had watched before. A few bottles of wine stood on the table and two
bright candelabra shed a brilliant light. Two revolvers were ready for
They left the door only partly open, for too much light might drive
the ghost away. Then, sitting down comfortably, the two men passed
their time by chatting, taking a sip now and then.
"The ghost seems to have spied us and probably won't come to-day,"
said the doctor.
"We must have patience. It is supposed to come at one," replied his
So they talked till one o'clock. Everything was quiet, and not a sound
came from the street. Suddenly the doctor raised his finger.
"Sh! Sesemann, don't you hear something?"
While they both listened, the bar was unfastened, the key was turned,
and the door flew open. Mr. Sesemann seized his revolver.
"You are not afraid, I hope?" said the doctor, getting up.
"Better be cautious!" whispered Mr. Sesemann, seizing the candelabrum
in the other hand. The doctor followed with his revolver and the
light, and so they went out into the hall.
On the threshhold stood a motionless white form, lighted up by the
"Who is there?" thundered the doctor, approaching the figure. It
turned and uttered a low shriek. There stood Heidi, with bare feet and
in her white night-gown, looking bewildered at the bright light and
the weapons. She was shaking with fear, while the two men were looking
at her in amazement.
"Sesemann, this seems to be your little water carrier," said the
"Child, what does this mean?" asked Mr. Sesemann. "What did you want
to do? Why have you come down here?"
Pale from fright, Heidi said: "I do not know."
The doctor came forward now. "Sesemann, this case belongs to my field.
Please go and sit down while I take her to bed."
Putting his revolver aside, he led the trembling child up-stairs.
"Don't be afraid; just be quiet! Everything is all right; don't be
When they had arrived in Heidi's room, the doctor put the little girl
to bed, covering her up carefully. Drawing a chair near the couch, he
waited till Heidi had calmed down and had stopped trembling. Then
taking her hand in his, he said kindly: "Now everything is all right
again. Tell me where you wanted to go?"
"I did not want to go anywhere," Heidi assured him; "I did not go
myself, only I was there all of a sudden."
"Really! Tell me, what did you dream?"
"Oh, I have the same dream every night. I always think I am with my
grandfather again and can hear the fir-trees roar. I always think how
beautiful the stars must be, and then I open the door of the hut, and
oh, it is so wonderful! But when I wake up I am always in Frankfurt."
Heidi had to fight the sobs that were rising in her throat.
"Does your back or your head hurt you, child?"
"No, but I feel as if a big stone was pressing me here."
"As if you had eaten something that disagreed with you?"
"Oh no, but as if I wanted to cry hard."
"So, and then you cry out, don't you?"
"Oh no, I must never do that, for Miss Rottenmeier has forbidden it."
"Then you swallow it down? Yes? Do you like to be here?"
"Oh yes," was the faint, uncertain reply.
"Where did you live with your grandfather?"
"Up on the Alp."
"But wasn't it a little lonely there?"
"Oh no, it was so beautiful!"--But Heidi could say no more. The
recollection, the excitement of the night and all the restrained
sorrow overpowered the child. The tears rushed violently from her eyes
and she broke out into loud sobs.
The doctor rose, and soothing her, said: "It won't hurt to cry; you'll
go to sleep afterward, and when you wake up everything will come
right." Then he left the room.
Joining his anxious friend down-stairs, he said: "Sesemann, the little
girl is a sleep-walker, and has unconsciously scared your whole
household. Besides, she is so home-sick that her little body has
wasted away. We shall have to act quickly. The only remedy for her is
to be restored to her native mountain air. This is my prescription,
and she must go tomorrow."
"What, sick, a sleep-walker, and wasted away in my house! Nobody even
suspected it! You think I should send this child back in this
condition, when she has come in good health? No, doctor, ask
everything but that. Take her in hand and prescribe for her, but let
her get well before I send her back."
"Sesemann," the doctor replied seriously, "just think what you are
doing. We cannot cure her with powders and pills. The child has not a
strong constitution, and if you keep her here, she might never get
well again. If you restore her to the bracing mountain air to which
she is accustomed, she probably will get perfectly well again."
When Mr. Sesemann heard this he said, "If that is your advice, we must
act at once; this is the only way then." With these words Mr. Sesemann
took his friend's arm and walked about with him to talk the matter
over. When everything was settled, the doctor took his leave, for the
morning had already come and the sun was shining in through the door.
UP THE ALP ON A SUMMER EVENING
Mr. Sesemann, going upstairs in great agitation, knocked at the
housekeeper's door. He asked her to hurry, for preparations for a
journey had to be made. Miss Rottenmeier obeyed the summons with the
greatest indignation, for it was only half-past four in the morning.
She dressed in haste, though with great difficulty, being nervous and
excited. All the other servants were summoned likewise, and one and
all thought that the master of the house had been seized by the ghost
and that he was ringing for help. When they had all come down with
terrified looks, they were most surprised to see Mr. Sesemann fresh
and cheerful, giving orders. John was sent to get the horses ready and
Tinette was told to prepare Heidi for her departure while Sebastian
was commissioned to fetch Heidi's aunt. Mr. Sesemann instructed the
housekeeper to pack a trunk in all haste for Heidi.
Miss Rottenmeier experienced an extreme disappointment, for she had
hoped for an explanation of the great mystery. But Mr. Sesemann,
evidently not in the mood to converse further, went to his daughter's
room. Clara had been wakened by the unusual noises and was listening
eagerly. Her father told her of what had happened and how the doctor
had ordered Heidi back to her home, because her condition was serious
and might get worse. She might even climb the roof, or be exposed to
similar dangers, if she was not cured at once.
Clara was painfully surprised and tried to prevent her father from
carrying out his plan. He remained firm, however, promising to take
her to Switzerland himself the following summer, if she was good and
sensible now. So the child, resigning herself, begged to have Heidi's
trunk packed in her room. Mr. Sesemann encouraged her to get together
a good outfit for her little friend.
Heidi's aunt had arrived in the meantime. Being told to take her niece
home with her, she found no end of excuses, which plainly showed that
she did not want to do it; for Deta well remembered the uncle's
parting words. Mr. Sesemann dismissed her and summoned Sebastian. The
butler was told to get ready for travelling with the child. He was to
go to Basle that day and spend the night at a good hotel which his
master named. The next day the child was to be brought to her home.
"Listen, Sebastian," Mr. Sesemann said, "and do exactly as I tell you.
I know the Hotel in Basle, and if you show my card they will give you
good accommodations. Go to the child's room and barricade the windows,
so that they can only be opened by the greatest force. When Heidi has
gone to bed, lock the door from outside, for the child walks in her
sleep and might come to harm in the strange hotel. She might get up
and open the door; do you understand?"
"Oh!--Oh!--So it was she?" exclaimed the butler.
"Yes, it was! You are a coward, and you can tell John he is the same.
Such foolish men, to be afraid!" With that Mr. Sesemann went to his
room to write a letter to Heidi's grandfather.
Sebastian, feeling ashamed, said to himself that he ought to have
resisted John and found out alone.
Heidi was dressed in her Sunday frock and stood waiting for further
Mr. Sesemann called her now. "Good-morning, Mr. Sesemann," Heidi said
when she entered.
"What do you think about it, little one?" he asked her. Heidi looked
up to him in amazement.
"You don't seem to know anything about it," laughed Mr. Sesemann.
Tinette had not even told the child, for she thought it beneath her
dignity to speak to the vulgar Heidi.
"You are going home to-day."
"Home?" Heidi repeated in a low voice. She had to gasp, so great was
"Wouldn't you like to hear something about it?" asked Mr. Sesemann
"Oh yes, I should like to," said the blushing child.
"Good, good," said the kind gentleman. "Sit down and eat a big
breakfast now, for you are going away right afterwards."
The child could not even swallow a morsel, though she tried to eat out
of obedience. It seemed to her as if it was only a dream.
"Go to Clara, Heidi, till the carriage comes," Mr. Sesemann said
Heidi had been wishing to go, and now she ran to Clara's room, where a
huge trunk was standing.
"Heidi, look at the things I had packed for you. Do you like them?"
There were a great many lovely things in it, but Heidi jumped for joy
when she discovered a little basket with twelve round white rolls for
the grandmother. The children had forgotten that the moment for
parting had come, when the carriage was announced. Heidi had to get
all her own treasures from her room yet. The grandmama's book was
carefully packed, and the red shawl that Miss Rottenmeier had
purposely left behind. Then putting on her pretty hat, she left her
room to say good-bye to Clara. There was not much time left to do so,
for Mr. Sesemann was waiting to put Heidi in the carriage. When Miss
Rottenmeier, who was standing on the stairs to bid farewell to her
pupil, saw the red bundle in Heidi's hand, she seized it and threw it
on the ground. Heidi looked imploringly at her kind protector, and Mr.
Sesemann, seeing how much she treasured it, gave it back to her. The
happy child at parting thanked him for all his goodness. She also sent
a message of thanks to the good old doctor, whom she suspected to be
the real cause of her going.
While Heidi was being lifted into the carriage, Mr. Sesemann assured
her that Clara and he would never forget her. Sebastian followed with
Heidi's basket and a large bag with provisions. Mr. Sesemann called
out: "Happy journey!" and the carriage rolled away.
Only when Heidi was sitting in the train did she become conscious of
where she was going. She knew now that she would really see her
grandfather and the grandmother again, also Peter and the goats. Her
only fear was that the poor blind grandmother might have died while
she was away.
The thing she looked forward to most was giving the soft white rolls
to the grandmother. While she was musing over all these things, she
fell asleep. In Basle she was roused by Sebastian, for there they were
to spend the night.
The next morning they started off again, and it took them many hours
before they reached Mayenfeld. When Sebastian stood on the platform of
the station, he wished he could have travelled further in the train
rather than have to climb a mountain. The last part of the trip might
be dangerous, for everything seemed half-wild in this country. Looking
round, he discovered a small wagon with a lean horse. A
broad-shouldered man was just loading up large bags, which had come by
the train. Sebastian, approaching the man, asked some information
concerning the least dangerous ascent to the Alp. After a while it was
settled that the man should take Heidi and her trunk to the village
and see to it that somebody would go up with her from there.
Not a word had escaped Heidi, until she now said, "I can go up alone
from the village. I know the road." Sebastian felt relieved, and
calling Heidi to him, presented her with a heavy roll of bills and a
letter for the grandfather. These precious things were put at the
bottom of the basket, under the rolls, so that they could not possibly
Heidi promised to be careful of them, and was lifted up to the cart.
The two old friends shook hands and parted, and Sebastian, with a
slightly bad conscience for having deserted the child so soon, sat
down on the station to wait for a returning train.
The driver was no other than the village baker, who had never seen
Heidi but had heard a great deal about her. He had known her parents
and immediately guessed she was the child who had lived with the
Alm-Uncle. Curious to know why she came home again, he began a
"Are you Heidi, the child who lived with the Alm-Uncle?"
"Why are you coming home again? Did you get on badly?"
"Oh no; nobody could have got on better than I did in Frankfurt."
"Then why are you coming back?"
"Because Mr. Sesemann let me come."
"Pooh! why didn't you stay?"
"Because I would rather be with my grandfather on the Alp than
anywhere on earth."
"You may think differently when you get there," muttered the baker.
"It is strange though, for she must know," he said to himself.
They conversed no more, and Heidi began to tremble with excitement
when she recognized all the trees on the road and the lofty peaks of
the mountains. Sometimes she felt as if she could not sit still any
longer, but had to jump down and run with all her might. They arrived
at the village at the stroke of five. Immediately a large group of
women and children surrounded the cart, for the trunk and the little
passenger had attracted everybody's notice. When Heidi had been lifted
down, she found herself held and questioned on all sides. But when
they saw how frightened she was, they let her go at last. The baker
had to tell of Heidi's arrival with the strange gentleman, and assured
all the people that Heidi loved her grandfather with all her heart,
let the people say what they would about him.
Heidi, in the meantime, was running up the path; from time to time she
was obliged to stop, for her basket was heavy and she lost her
breath. Her one idea was: "If only grandmother still sits in her
corner by her spinning wheel!--Oh, if she should have died!" When the
child caught sight of the hut at last, her heart began to beat. The
quicker she ran, the more it beat, but at last she tremblingly opened
the door. She ran into the middle of the room, unable to utter one
tone, she was so out of breath.
"Oh God," it sounded from one corner, "our Heidi used to come in like
that. Oh, if I just could have her again with me before I die. Who has
"Here I am! grandmother, here I am!" shouted the child, throwing
herself on her knees before the old woman. She seized her hands and
arms and snuggling up to her did not for joy utter one more word. The
grandmother had been so surprised that she could only silently caress
the child's curly hair over and over again. "Yes, yes," she said at
last, "this is Heidi's hair, and her beloved voice. Oh my God, I thank
Thee for this happiness." Out of her blind eyes big tears of joy fell
down on Heidi's hand. "Is it really you, Heidi? Have you really come
"Yes, yes, grandmother," the child replied. "You must not cry, for I
have come and will never leave you any more. Now you won't have to eat
hard black bread any more for a little while. Look what I have brought
Heidi put one roll after another into the grandmother's lap.
"Ah, child, what a blessing you bring to me!" the old woman cried.
"But you are my greatest blessing yourself, Heidi!" Then, caressing
the child's hair and flushed cheeks, she entreated: "Just say one more
word, that I may hear your voice."
While Heidi was talking, Peter's mother arrived, and exclaimed in her
amazement: "Surely, this is Heidi. But how can that be?"
The child rose to shake hands with Brigida, who could not get over
Heidi's splendid frock and hat.
"You can have my hat, I don't want it any more; I have my old one
still," Heidi said, pulling out her old crushed straw hat. Heidi had
remembered her grandfather's words to Deta about her feather hat; that
was why she had kept her old hat so carefully. Brigida at last
accepted the gift after a great many remonstrances. Suddenly Heidi
took off her pretty dress and tied her old shawl about her. Taking the
grandmother's hand, she said: "Good-bye, I must go home to grandfather
now, but I shall come again tomorrow. Good-night, grandmother."
"Oh, please come again to-morrow, Heidi," implored the old woman,
while she held her fast.
"Why did you take your pretty dress off?" asked Brigida.
"I'd rather go to grandfather that way, or else he might not know me
any more, the way you did."
Brigida accompanied the child outside and said mysteriously: "He would
have known you in your frock; you ought to have kept it on. Please be
careful, child, for Peter tells us that the uncle never says a word
to anyone and always seems so angry." But Heidi was unconcerned, and
saying good-night, climbed up the path with the basket on her arm. The
evening sun was shining down on the grass before her. Every few
minutes Heidi stood still to look at the mountains behind her.
Suddenly she looked back and beheld such glory as she had not even
seen in her most vivid dream. The rocky peaks were flaming in the
brilliant light, the snow-fields glowed and rosy clouds were floating
overhead. The grass was like an expanse of gold, and below her the
valley swam in golden mist. The child stood still, and in her joy and
transport tears ran down her cheeks. She folded her hands, and looking
up to heaven, thanked the Lord that He had brought her home again. She
thanked Him for restoring her to her beloved mountains,--in her
happiness she could hardly find words to pray. Only when the glow had
subsided, was Heidi able to follow the path again.
[Illustration: THROWING HERSELF IN HER GRANDFATHER'S ARMS, SHE HELD
She climbed so fast that she could soon discover, first the tree-tops,
then the roof, finally the hut. Now she could see her grandfather
sitting on his bench, smoking a pipe. Above the cottage the fir-trees
gently swayed and rustled in the evening breeze. At last she had
reached the hut, and throwing herself in her grandfather's arms, she
hugged him and held him tight. She could say nothing but "Grandfather!
grandfather! grandfather!" in her agitation.
The old man said nothing either, but his eyes were moist, and
loosening Heidi's arms at last, he sat her on his knee. When he had
looked at her a while, he said: "So you have come home again, Heidi?
Why? You certainly do not look very cityfied! Did they send you away?"
"Oh no, you must not think that, grandfather. They all were so good to
me; Clara, Mr. Sesemann and grandmama. But grandfather, sometimes I
felt as if I could not bear it any longer to be away from you! I
thought I should choke; I could not tell any one, for that would have
been ungrateful. Suddenly, one morning Mr. Sesemann called me very
early, I think it was the doctor's fault and--but I think it is
probably written in this letter;" with that Heidi brought the letter
and the bank-roll from her basket, putting them on her grandfather's
"This belongs to you," he said, laying the roll beside him. Having
read the letter, he put it in his pocket.
"Do you think you can still drink milk with me, Heidi?" he asked,
while he stepped into the cottage. "Take your money with you, you can
buy a bed for it and clothes for many years."
"I don't need it at all, grandfather," Heidi assured him; "I have a
bed and Clara has given me so many dresses that I shan't need any more
all my life."
"Take it and put it in the cupboard, for you will need it some day."
Heidi obeyed, and danced around the hut in her delight to see all the
beloved things again. Running up to the loft, she exclaimed in great
disappointment: "Oh grandfather, my bed is gone."
"It will come again," the grandfather called up from below; "how could
I know that you were coming back? Get your milk now!"
Heidi, coming down, took her old seat. She seized her bowl and emptied
it eagerly, as if it was the most wonderful thing she had ever tasted.
"Grandfather, our milk is the best in all the world."
Suddenly Heidi, hearing a shrill whistle, rushed outside, as Peter and
all his goats came racing down. Heidi greeted the boy, who stopped,
rooted to the spot, staring at her. Then she ran into the midst of her
beloved friends, who had not forgotten her either. Schwänli and Bärli
bleated for joy, and all her other favorites pressed near to her.
Heidi was beside herself with joy, and caressed little Snowhopper and
patted Thistlefinch, till she felt herself pushed to and fro among
"Peter, why don't you come down and say good-night to me?" Heidi
called to the boy.
"Have you come again?" he exclaimed at last. Then he took Heidi's
proffered hand and asked her, as if she had been always there: "Are
you coming up with me to-morrow?"
"No, to-morrow I must go to grandmother, but perhaps the day after."
Peter had a hard time with his goats that day, for they would not
follow him. Over and over again they came back to Heidi, till she
entered the shed with Bärli and Schwänli and shut the door.
When Heidi went up to her loft to sleep, she found a fresh, fragrant
bed waiting for her; and she slept better that night than she had for
many, many months, for her great and burning longing had been
satisfied. About ten times that night the grandfather rose from his
couch to listen to Heidi's quiet breathing. The window was filled up
with hay, for from now on the moon was not allowed to shine on Heidi
any more. But Heidi slept quietly, for she had seen the flaming
mountains and had heard the fir-trees roar.
ON SUNDAY WHEN THE CHURCH BELLS RING
Heidi was standing under the swaying fir-trees, waiting for her
grandfather to join her. He had promised to bring up her trunk from
the village while she went in to visit the grandmother. The child was
longing to see the blind woman again and to hear how she had liked the
rolls. It was Saturday, and the grandfather had been cleaning the
cottage. Soon he was ready to start. When they had descended and Heidi
entered Peter's hut, the grandmother called lovingly to her: "Have you
come again, child?"
She took hold of Heidi's hand and held it tight. Grandmother then told
the little visitor how good the rolls had tasted, and how much
stronger she felt already. Brigida related further that the
grandmother had only eaten a single roll, being so afraid to finish
them too soon. Heidi had listened attentively, and said now:
"Grandmother, I know what I shall do. I am going to write to Clara and
she'll surely send me a whole lot more."
But Brigida remarked: "That is meant well, but they get hard so soon.
If I only had a few extra pennies, I could buy some from our baker. He
makes them too, but I am hardly able to pay for the black bread."
Heidi's face suddenly shone. "Oh, grandmother, I have an awful lot of
money," she cried. "Now I know what I'll do with it. Every day you
must have a fresh roll and two on Sundays. Peter can bring them up
from the village."
"No, no, child," the grandmother implored. "That must not be. You must
give it to grandfather and he'll tell you what to do with it."
But Heidi did not listen but jumped gaily about the little room,
calling over and over again: "Now grandmother can have a roll every
day. She'll get well and strong, and," she called with fresh delight,
"maybe your eyes will see again, too, when you are strong and well."
The grandmother remained silent, not to mar the happiness of the
child. Seeing the old hymn-book on the shelf, Heidi said:
"Grandmother, shall I read you a song from your book now? I can read
quite nicely!" she added after a pause.
"Oh yes, I wish you would, child. Can you really read?"
Heidi, climbing on a chair, took down the dusty book from a shelf.
After she had carefully wiped it off, she sat down on a stool.
"What shall I read, grandmother?"
"Whatever you want to," was the reply. Turning the pages, Heidi found
a song about the sun, and decided to read that aloud. More and more
eagerly she read, while the grandmother, with folded arms, sat in her
chair. An expression of indescribable happiness shone in her
countenance, though tears were rolling down her cheeks. When Heidi
had repeated the end of the song a number of times, the old woman
exclaimed: "Oh, Heidi, everything seems bright to me again and my
heart is light. Thank you, child, you have done me so much good."
Heidi looked enraptured at the grandmother's face, which had changed
from an old, sorrowful expression to a joyous one.
She seemed to look up gratefully, as if she could already behold the
lovely, celestial gardens told of in the hymn.
Soon the grandfather knocked on the window, for it was time to go.
Heidi followed quickly, assuring the grandmother that she would visit
her every day now; on the days she went up to the pasture with Peter,
she would return in the early afternoon, for she did not want to miss
the chance to make the grandmother's heart joyful and light. Brigida
urged Heidi to take her dress along, and with it on her arm the child
joined the old man and immediately told him what had happened.
On hearing of her plan to purchase rolls for the grandmother every
day, the grandfather reluctantly consented.
At this the child gave a bound, shouting: "Oh grandfather, now
grandmother won't ever have to eat hard, black bread any more. Oh,
everything is so wonderful now! If God Our Father had done immediately
what I prayed for, I should have come home at once and could not have
brought half as many rolls to grandmother. I should not have been able
to read either. Grandmama told me that God would make everything much
better than I could ever dream. I shall always pray from now on, the
way grandmama taught me. When God does not give me something I pray
for, I shall always remember how everything has worked out for the
best this time. We'll pray every day, grandfather, won't we, for
otherwise God might forget us."
"And if somebody should forget to do it?" murmured the old man.
"Oh, he'll get on badly, for God will forget him, too. If he is
unhappy and wretched, people don't pity him, for they will say: 'he
went away from God, and now the Lord, who alone can help him, has no
pity on him'."
"Is that true, Heidi? Who told you so?"
"Grandmama explained it all to me."
After a pause the grandfather said: "Yes, but if it has happened, then
there is no help; nobody can come back to the Lord, when God has once
"But grandfather, everybody can come back to Him; grandmama told me
that, and besides there is the beautiful story in my book. Oh,
grandfather, you don't know it yet, and I shall read it to you as soon
as we get home."
The grandfather had brought a big basket with him, in which he carried
half the contents of Heidi's trunk; it had been too large to be
conveyed up the steep ascent. Arriving at the hut and setting down his
load, he had to sit beside Heidi, who was ready to begin the tale.
With great animation Heidi read the story of the prodigal son, who
was happy at home with his father's cows and sheep. The picture showed
him leaning on his staff, watching the sunset. "Suddenly he wanted to
have his own inheritance, and be able to be his own master. Demanding
the money from his father, he went away and squandered all. When he
had nothing in the world left, he had to go as servant to a peasant,
who did not own fine cattle like his father, but only swine; his
clothes were rags, and for food he only got the husks on which the
pigs were fed. Often he would think what a good home he had left, and
when he remembered how good his father had been to him and his own
ungratefulness, he would cry from repentance and longing. Then he said
to himself: 'I shall go to my father and ask his forgiveness.' When he
approached his former home, his father came out to meet him--"
"What do you think will happen now?" Heidi asked. "You think that the
father is angry and will say: 'Didn't I tell you?' But just listen:
'And his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his
neck. And the son said: Father, I have sinned against Heaven and in
Thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called Thy son. But the father
said to his servants: Bring forth the best robe and put it on him; and
put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet; and bring hither the
fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be merry: For this my son
was dead and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they
began to be merry."
"Isn't it a beautiful story, grandfather?" asked Heidi, when he sat
silently beside her.
"Yes, Heidi, it is," said the grandfather, but so seriously that Heidi
quietly looked at the pictures. "Look how happy he is," she said,
pointing to it.
A few hours later, when Heidi was sleeping soundly, the old man
climbed up the ladder. Placing a little lamp beside the sleeping
child, he watched her a long, long time. Her little hands were folded
and her rosy face looked confident and peaceful. The old man now
folded his hands and said in a low voice, while big tears rolled down
his cheeks: "Father, I have sinned against Heaven and Thee, and am no
more worthy to be Thy son!"
The next morning found the uncle standing before the door, looking
about him over valley and mountain. A few early bells sounded from
below and the birds sang their morning anthems.
Re-entering the house, he called: "Heidi, get up! The sun is shining!
Put on a pretty dress, for we are going to church!"
That was a new call, and Heidi obeyed quickly. When the child came
downstairs in her smart little frock, she opened her eyes wide. "Oh,
grandfather!" she exclaimed, "I have never seen you in your Sunday
coat with the silver buttons. Oh, how fine you look!"
The old man, turning to the child, said with a smile: "You look nice,
too; come now!" With Heidi's hand in his they wandered down together.
The nearer they came to the village, the louder and richer the bells
resounded. "Oh grandfather, do you hear it? It seems like a big, high
feast," said Heidi.
When they entered the church, all the people were singing. Though they
sat down on the last bench behind, the people had noticed their
presence and whispered it from ear to ear. When the pastor began to
preach, his words were a loud thanksgiving that moved all his hearers.
After the service the old man and the child walked to the parsonage.
The clergyman had opened the door and received them with friendly
words. "I have come to ask your forgiveness for my harsh words," said
the uncle. "I want to follow your advice to spend the winter here
among you. If the people look at me askance, I can't expect any
better. I am sure, Mr. Pastor, you will not do so."
[Illustration: WITH HEIDI'S HAND IN HIS THEY WANDERED DOWN
The pastor's friendly eyes sparkled, and with many a kind word he
commended the uncle for this change, and putting his hand on Heidi's
curly hair, ushered them out. Thus the people, who had been all
talking together about this great event, could see that their
clergyman shook hands with the old man. The door of the parsonage was
hardly shut, when the whole assembly came forward with outstretched
hands and friendly greetings. Great seemed to be their joy at the old
man's resolution; some of the people even accompanied him on his
homeward way. When they had parted at last, the uncle looked after
them with his face shining as with an inward light. Heidi looked up to
him and said: "Grandfather, you have never looked so beautiful!"
"Do you think so, child?" he said with a smile. "You see, Heidi, I am
more happy than I deserve; to be at peace with God and men makes one's
heart feel light. God has been good to me, to send you back."
When they arrived at Peter's hut, the grandfather opened the door and
entered. "How do you do, grandmother," he called out. "I think we
must start to mend again, before the fall wind comes."
"Oh my God, the uncle!" exclaimed the grandmother in joyous surprise.
"How happy I am to be able to thank you for what you have done, uncle!
Thank you, God bless you for it."
With trembling joy the grandmother shook hands with her old friend.
"There is something else I want to say to you, uncle," she continued.
"If I have ever hurt you in any way, do not punish me. Do not let
Heidi go away again before I die. I cannot tell you what Heidi means
to me!" So saying, she held the clinging child to her.
"No danger of that, grandmother, I hope we shall all stay together now
for many years to come."
Brigida now showed Heidi's feather hat to the old man and asked him to
take it back. But the uncle asked her to keep it, since Heidi had
given it to her.
"What blessings this child has brought from Frankfurt," Brigida said.
"I often wondered if I should not send our little Peter too. What do
you think, uncle?"
The uncle's eyes sparkled with fun, when he replied: "I am sure it
would not hurt Peter; nevertheless I should wait for a fitting
occasion before I sent him."
The next moment Peter himself arrived in great haste. He had a letter
for Heidi, which had been given to him in the village. What an event,
a letter for Heidi! They all sat down at the table while the child
read it aloud. The letter was from Clara Sesemann, who wrote that
everything had got so dull since Heidi left. She said that she could
not stand it very long, and therefore her father had promised to take
her to Ragatz this coming fall. She announced that Grandmama was
coming too, for she wanted to see Heidi and her grandfather.
Grandmama, having heard about the rolls, was sending some coffee, too,
so that the grandmother would not have to eat them dry. Grandmama
also insisted on being taken to the grandmother herself when she came
on her visit.
Great was the delight caused by this news, and what with all the
questions and plans that followed, the grandfather himself forgot how
late it was. This happy day, which had united them all, caused the old
woman to say at parting: "The most beautiful thing of all, though, is
to be able to shake hands again with an old friend, as in days gone
by; it is a great comfort to find again, what we have treasured. I
hope you'll come soon again, uncle. I am counting on the child for
This promise was given. While Heidi and her grandfather were on their
homeward path, the peaceful sound of evening bells accompanied them.
At last they reached the cottage, which seemed to glow in the evening
Heidi Makes Use of Her Experience
PREPARATIONS FOR A JOURNEY
The kind doctor who had sent Heidi home to her beloved mountains was
approaching the Sesemann residence on a sunny day in September.
Everything about him was bright and cheerful, but the doctor did not
even raise his eyes from the pavement to the blue sky above. His face
was sad and his hair had turned very gray since spring. A few months
ago the doctor had lost his only daughter, who had lived with him
since his wife's early death. The blooming girl had been his only joy,
and since she had gone from him the ever-cheerful doctor was bowed
down with grief.
When Sebastian opened the door to the physician he bowed very low, for
the doctor made friends wherever he went.
"I am glad you have come doctor," Mr. Sesemann called to his friend as
he entered. "Please let us talk over this trip to Switzerland again.
Do you still give the same advice, now that Clara is so much better?"
"What must I think of you, Sesemann?" replied the doctor, sitting
down. "I wish your mother was here. Everything is clear to her and
things go smoothly then. This is the third time to-day that you have
called me, and always for the same thing!"
"It is true, it must make you impatient," said Mr. Sesemann. Laying
his hand on his friend's shoulder, he continued: "I cannot say how
hard it is for me to refuse Clara this trip. Haven't I promised it to
her and hasn't she looked forward to it for months? She has borne all
her suffering so patiently, just because she had hoped to be able to
visit her little friend on the Alp. I hate to rob her of this
pleasure. The poor child has so many trials and so little change."
"But, Sesemann, you must do it," was the doctor's answer. When his
friend remained silent, he continued: "Just think what a hard summer
Clara has had! She never was more ill and we could not attempt this
journey without risking the worst consequences. Remember, we are in
September now, and though the weather may still be fine on the Alp, it
is sure to be very cool. The days are getting short, and she could
only spend a few hours up there, if she had to return for the night.
It would take several hours to have her carried up from Ragatz. You
see yourself how impossible it is! I shall come in with you, though,
to talk to Clara, and you'll find her sensible. I'll tell you of my
plan for next May. First she can go to Ragatz to take the baths. When
it gets warm on the mountain, she can be carried up from time to time.
She'll be stronger then and much more able to enjoy those excursions
than she is now. If we hope for an improvement in her condition, we
must be extremely cautious and careful, remember that!"
Mr. Sesemann, who had been listening with the utmost submission, now
said anxiously: "Doctor, please tell me honestly if you still have
hope left for any change?"
With shrugging shoulders the doctor replied: "Not very much. But think
of me, Sesemann! Have you not a child, who loves you and always
welcomes you? You don't have to come back to a lonely house and sit
down alone at your table. Your child is well taken care of, and if she
has many privations, she also has many advantages. Sesemann, you do
not need to be pitied! Just think of my lonely home!"
Mr. Sesemann had gotten up and was walking round the room, as he
always did when something occupied his thoughts. Suddenly he stood
before his friend and said: "Doctor, I have an idea. I cannot see you
sad any longer. You must get away. You shall undertake this trip and
visit Heidi in our stead."
The doctor had been surprised by this proposal, and tried to object.
But Mr. Sesemann was so full of his new project that he pulled his
friend with him into his daughter's room, not leaving him time for any
remonstrances. Clara loved the doctor, who had always tried to cheer
her up on his visits by bright and funny tales. She was sorry for the
change that had come over him and would have given much to see him
happy again. When he had shaken hands with her, both men pulled up
their chairs to Clara's bedside. Mr. Sesemann began to speak of their
journey and how sorry he was to give it up. Then he quickly began to
talk of his new plan.
Clara's eyes had filled with tears. But she knew that her father did
not like to see her cry, and besides she was sure that her papa would
only forbid her this pleasure because it was absolutely necessary to
So she bravely fought her tears, and caressing the doctor's hand,
"Oh please, doctor, do go to Heidi; then you can tell me all about
her, and can describe her grandfather to me, and Peter, with his
goats,--I seem to know them all so well. Then you can take all the
things to her that I had planned to take myself. Oh, please doctor,
go, and then I'll be good and take as much cod-liver oil as ever you
want me to."
Who can tell if this promise decided the doctor? At any rate he
answered with a smile: "Then I surely must go, Clara, for you will get
fat and strong, as we both want to see you. Have you settled yet when
I must go?"
"Oh, you had better go tomorrow morning, doctor," Clara urged.
"She is right," the father assented; "the sun is shining and you must
not lose any more glorious days on the Alp."
The doctor had to laugh. "Why don't you chide me for being here still?
I shall go as quickly as I can, Sesemann."
Clara gave many messages to him for Heidi. She also told him to be
sure to observe everything closely, so that he would be able to tell
her all about it when he came back. The things for Heidi were to be
sent to him later, for Miss Rottenmeier, who had to pack them, was out
on one of her lengthy wanderings about town.
The doctor promised to comply with all Clara's wishes and to start the
Clara rang for the maid and said to her, when she arrived: "Please,
Tinette, pack a lot of fresh, soft coffee-cake in this box." A box
had been ready for this purpose many days. When the maid was leaving
the room she murmured: "That's a silly bother!"
Sebastian, who had happened to overhear some remarks, asked the
physician when he was leaving to take his regards to the little Miss,
as he called Heidi.
With a promise to deliver this message the doctor was just hastening
out, when he encountered an obstacle. Miss Rottenmeier, who had been
obliged to return from her walk on account of the strong wind, was
just coming in. She wore a large cape, which the wind was blowing
about her like two full sails. Both had retreated politely to give way
to each other. Suddenly the wind seemed to carry the housekeeper
straight towards the doctor, who had barely time to avoid her. This
little incident, which had ruffled Miss Rottenmeier's temper very
much, gave the doctor occasion to soothe her, as she liked to be
soothed by this man, whom she respected more than anybody in the
world. Telling her of his intended visit, he entreated her to pack the
things for Heidi as only she knew how.
Clara had expected some resistance from Miss Rottenmeier about the
packing of her presents. What was her surprise when this lady showed
herself most obliging, and immediately, on being told, brought
together all the articles! First came a heavy coat for Heidi, with a
hood, which Clara meant her to use on visits to the grandmother in the
winter. Then came a thick warm shawl and a large box with coffee-cake
for the grandmother. An enormous sausage for Peter's mother followed,
and a little sack of tobacco for the grandfather. At last a lot of
mysterious little parcels and boxes were packed, things that Clara had
gathered together for Heidi. When the tidy pack lay ready on the
ground, Clara's heart filled with pleasure at the thought of her
little friend's delight.
Sebastian now entered, and putting the pack on his shoulder, carried
it to the doctor's house without delay.
A GUEST ON THE ALP
The early dawn was tinging the mountains and a fresh morning-breeze
rocked the old fir-trees to and fro. Heidi opened her eyes, for the
rustling of the wind had awakened her. These sounds always thrilled
her heart, and now they drew her out of bed. Rising hurriedly, she
soon was neatly dressed and combed.
Coming down the little ladder and finding the grandfather's bed empty,
she ran outside. The old man was looking up at the sky to see what the
weather was going to be like that day. Rosy clouds were passing
overhead, but gradually the sky grew more blue and deep, and soon a
golden light passed over the heights, for the sun was rising in all
"Oh, how lovely! Good-morning, grandfather," Heidi exclaimed.
"Are your eyes bright already?" the grandfather retorted, holding out
Heidi then ran over to her beloved fir-trees and danced about, while
the wind was howling in the branches.
After the old man had washed and milked the goats, he brought them out
of the shed. When Heidi saw her friends again, she caressed them
tenderly, and they in their turn nearly crushed her between them.
Sometimes when Bärli got too wild, Heidi would say: "But Bärli, you
push me like the Big Turk," and that was enough to quiet the goat.
Soon Peter arrived with the whole herd, the jolly Thistlefinch ahead
of all the others. Heidi, being soon in the mist of them, was pushed
about among them. Peter was anxious to say a word to the little girl,
so he gave a shrill whistle, urging the goats to climb ahead. When he
was near her he said reproachfully: "You really might come with me
"No, I can't, Peter," said Heidi. "They might come from Frankfurt any
time. I must be home when they come."
"How often you have said that," grumbled the boy.
"But I mean it," replied Heidi. "Do you really think I want to be away
when they come from Frankfurt? Do you really think that, Peter?"
"They could come to uncle," Peter growled.
Then the grandfather's strong voice was heard: "Why doesn't the army
go forward? Is it the field-marshal's fault, or the fault of the
Peter immediately turned about and led his goats up the mountain
without more ado.
Since Heidi had come home again to her grandfather she did many things
that had never occurred to her before. For instance, she would make
her bed every morning, and run about the hut, tidying and dusting.
With an old rag she would rub the chairs and table till they all
shone, and the grandfather would exclaim: "It is always Sunday with us
now; Heidi has not been away in vain."
On this day after breakfast, when Heidi began her self-imposed task,
it took her longer than usual, for the weather was too glorious to
stay within. Over and over again a bright sunbeam would tempt the busy
child outside. How could she stay indoors, when the glistening
sunshine was pouring down and all the mountains seemed to glow? She
had to sit down on the dry, hard ground and look down into the valley
and all about her. Then, suddenly remembering her little duties, she
would hasten back. It was not long, though, till the roaring fir-trees
tempted her again. The grandfather had been busy in his little shop,
merely glancing over at the child from time to time. Suddenly he heard
her call: "Oh grandfather, come!"
He was frightened and came out quickly He saw her running down the
hill crying: "They are coming, they are coming. Oh, the doctor is
[Illustration: THEY ARE COMING, OH, THE DOCTOR IS COMING FIRST]
When Heidi at last reached her old friend, he held out his hand, which
Heidi immediately seized. In the full joy of her heart, she exclaimed:
"How do you do, doctor? And I thank you a thousand times!"
"How are you, Heidi? But what are you thanking me for already?" the
doctor asked, with a smile.
"Because you let me come home again," the child explained.
The gentleman's face lit up like sunshine. He had certainly not
counted on such a reception on the Alp. On the contrary! Not even
noticing all the beauty around him, he had climbed up sadly, for he
was sure that Heidi probably would not know him any more. He thought
that he would be far from welcome, being obliged to cause her a great
disappointment. Instead, he beheld Heidi's bright eyes looking up at
him in gratefulness and love. She was still holding his arm, when he
said: "Come now, Heidi, and take me to your grandfather, for I want
to see where you live."
Like a kind father he had taken her hand, but Heidi stood still and
looked down the mountain-side.
"But where are Clara and grandmama?" she asked.
"Child, I must tell you something now which will grieve you as much as
it grieves me," replied the doctor. "I had to come alone, for Clara
has been very ill and could not travel. Of course grandmama has not
come either; but the spring will soon be here, and when the days get
long and warm, they will surely visit you."
Heidi was perfectly amazed; she could not understand how all those
things that she had pictured to herself so clearly would not happen
after all. She was standing perfectly motionless, confused by the
It was some time before Heidi remembered that, after all, she had come
down to meet the doctor. Looking up at her friend, she was struck by
his sad and cheerless face. How changed he was since she had seen
him! She did not like to see people unhappy, least of all the good,
kind doctor. He must be sad because Clara and grandmama had not come,
and to console him she said: "Oh, it won't last long till spring comes
again; then they will come for sure; they'll be able to stay much
longer then, and that will please Clara. Now we'll go to grandfather."
Hand in hand she climbed up with her old friend. All the way she tried
to cheer him up by telling him again and again of the coming summer
days. After they had reached the cottage, she called out to her
grandfather quite happily:
"They are not here yet, but it won't be very long before they are
The grandfather warmly welcomed his guest, who did not seem at all a
stranger, for had not Heidi told him many things about the doctor?
They all three sat down on the bench before the door, and the doctor
told of the object of his visit. He whispered to the child that
something was coming up the mountain very soon which would bring her
more pleasure than his visit. What could it be?
The uncle advised the doctor to spend the splendid days of autumn on
the Alp, if possible, and to take a little room in the village instead
of in Ragatz; then he could easily walk up every day to the hut, and
from there the uncle could take him all around the mountains. This
plan was accepted.
The sun was in its zenith and the wind had ceased. Only a soft
delicious breeze fanned the cheeks of all.
The uncle now got up and went into the hut, returning soon with a
table and their dinner.
"Go in, Heidi, and set the table here. I hope you will excuse our
simple meal," he said, turning to his guest.
"I shall gladly accept this delightful invitation; I am sure that
dinner will taste good up here," said the guest, looking down over the
Heidi was running to and fro, for it gave her great joy to be able to
wait on her kind protector. Soon the uncle appeared with the steaming
milk, the toasted cheese, and the finely-sliced, rosy meat that had
been dried in the pure air. The doctor enjoyed his dinner better than
any he had ever tasted.
"Yes, we must send Clara up here. How she could gather strength!" he
said; "If she would have an appetite like mine to-day, she couldn't
help getting nice and fat."
At this moment a man could be seen walking up with a large sack on his
shoulders. Arriving on top, he threw down his load, breathing in the
pure, fresh air.
Opening the cover, the doctor said: "This has come for you from
Frankfurt, Heidi. Come and look what is in it."
Heidi timidly watched the heap, and only when the gentleman opened the
box with the cakes for the grandmother she said joyfully: "Oh, now
grandmother can eat this lovely cake." She was taking the box and the
beautiful shawl on her arm and was going to race down to deliver the
gifts, when the men persuaded her to stay and unpack the rest. What
was her delight at finding the tobacco and all the other things. The
men had been talking together, when the child suddenly planted herself
in front of them and said: "These things have not given me as much
pleasure as the dear doctor's coming." Both men smiled.
When it was near sunset, the doctor rose to start on his way down. The
grandfather, carrying the box, the shawl and the sausage, and the
guest holding the little girl by the hand, they wandered down the
mountain-side. When they reached Peter's hut, Heidi was told to go
inside and wait for her grandfather there. At parting she asked:
"Would you like to come with me up to the pasture to-morrow, doctor?"
"With pleasure. Good-bye, Heidi," was the reply. The grandfather had
deposited all the presents before the door, and it took Heidi long to
carry in the huge box and the sausage. The shawl she put on the
Brigida had silently watched the proceedings, and could not open her
eyes wide enough when she saw the enormous sausage. Never in her life
had she seen the like, and now she really possessed it and could cut
"Oh grandmother, don't the cakes please you awfully? Just look how
soft they are!" the child exclaimed. What was her amazement when she
saw the grandmother more pleased with the shawl, which would keep her
warm in winter.
"Grandmother, Clara has sent you that," Heidi said.
"Oh, what kind good people they are to think of a poor old woman like
me! I never thought I should ever own such a splendid wrap."
At this moment Peter came stumbling in.
"The uncle is coming up behind me, and Heidi must--" that was as far
as he got, for his eyes had fastened on the sausage. Heidi, however,
had already said good-bye, for she knew what he had meant. Though her
uncle never went by the hut any more without stepping in, she knew it
was too late to-day. "Heidi, come, you must get your sleep," he called
through the open door. Bidding them all good-night, he took Heidi by
the hand and under the glistening stars they wandered home to their
Early the next morning the doctor climbed up the mountain in company
with Peter and his goats. The friendly gentleman made several attempts
to start a conversation with the boy, but as answer to his questions
he got nothing more than monosyllables. When they arrived on top, they
found Heidi already waiting, fresh and rosy as the early dawn.
"Are you coming?" asked Peter as usual.
"Of course I shall, if the doctor comes with us," replied the child.
The grandfather, coming out of the hut, greeted the newcomer with
great respect. Then he went up to Peter, and hung on his shoulder the
sack, which seemed to contain more than usual that day.
When they had started on their way, Heidi kept urging forward the
goats, which were crowding about her. When at last she was walking
peacefully by the doctor's side, she began to relate to him many
things about the goats and all their strange pranks, and about the
flowers, rocks and birds they saw. When they arrived at their
destination, time seemed to have flown. Peter all the time was sending
many an angry glance at the unconscious doctor, who never even noticed
Heidi now took the doctor to her favorite spot. From there they could
hear the peaceful-sounding bells of the grazing cattle below. The sky
was deep blue, and above their heads the eagle was circling with
outstretched wings. Everything was luminous and bright about them, but
the doctor had been silent. Suddenly looking up, he beheld Heidi's
"Heidi, it is beautiful up here," he said. "But how can anybody with a
heavy heart enjoy the beauty? Tell me!"
"Oh," exclaimed Heidi, "one never has a sad heart here. One only gets
unhappy in Frankfurt."
A faint smile passed over the doctor's face. Then he began: "But if
somebody has brought his sorrow away with him, how would you comfort
"God in Heaven alone can help him."
"That is true, child," remarked the doctor. "But what can we do when
God Himself has sent us the affliction?"
After meditating a moment, Heidi replied: "One must wait patiently,
for God knows how to turn the saddest things to something happy in the
end. God will show us what He has meant to do for us. But He will only
do so if we pray to Him patiently."
"I hope you will always keep this beautiful belief, Heidi," said the
doctor. Then looking up at the mighty cliffs above, he continued:
"Think how sad it would make us not to be able to see all these
beautiful things. Wouldn't that make us doubly sad? Can you understand
A great pain shot through Heidi's breast. She had to think of the poor
grandmother. Her blindness was always a great sorrow to the child, and
she had been struck with it anew. Seriously she replied:
"Oh yes, I can understand it. But then we can read grandmother's
songs; they make us happy and bright again."
"Which songs, Heidi?"
"Oh, those of the sun, and of the beautiful garden, and then the last
verses of the long one. Grandmother loves them so that I always have
to read them over three times," said Heidi.
"I wish you would say them to me, child, for I should like to hear
them," said the doctor.
Heidi, folding her hands, began the consoling verses. She stopped
suddenly, however, for the doctor did not seem to listen. He was
sitting motionless, holding his hand before his eyes. Thinking that he
had fallen asleep, she remained silent. But the verses had recalled
his childhood days; he seemed to hear his mother and see her loving
eyes, for when he was a little boy she had sung this song to him. A
long time he sat there, till he discovered that Heidi was watching
"Heidi, your song was lovely," he said with a more joyful voice. "We
must come here another day and then you can recite it to me again."
During all this time Peter had been boiling with anger. Now that Heidi
had come again to the pasture with him, she did nothing but talk to
the old gentleman. It made him very cross that he was not even able to
get near her. Standing a little distance behind Heidi's friend, he
shook his fist at him, and soon afterwards both fists, finally raising
them up to the sky, as Heidi and the doctor remained together.
When the sun stood in its zenith and Peter knew that it was noon, he
called over to them with all his might: "Time to eat."
When Heidi was getting up to fetch their dinner, the doctor just asked
for a glass of milk, which was all he wanted. The child also decided
to make the milk her sole repast, running over to Peter and informing
him of their resolution.
When the boy found that the whole contents of the bag was his, he
hurried with his task as never in his life before. But he felt guilty
on account of his former anger at the kind gentleman. To show his
repentance he held his hands up flat to the sky, indicating by his
action that his fists did not mean anything any more. Only after that
did he start with his feast.
Heidi and the doctor had wandered about the pasture till the gentleman
had found it time to go. He wanted Heidi to remain where she was, but
she insisted on accompanying him. All the way down she showed him many
places where the pretty mountain flowers grew, all of whose names she
could tell him. When they parted at last, Heidi waved to him. From
time to time he turned about, and seeing the child still standing
there, he had to think of his own little daughter who used to wave to
him like that when he went away from home.
The weather was warm and sunny that month. Every morning the doctor
came up to the Alp, spending his day very often with the old man. Many
a climb they had together that took them far up, to the bare cliffs
near the eagle's haunt. The uncle would show his guest all the herbs
that grew on hidden places and were strengthening and healing. He
could tell many strange things of the beasts that lived in holes in
rock or earth, or in the high tops of trees.
In the evening they would part, and the doctor would exclaim: "My dear
friend, I never leave you without having learned something."
But most of his days he spent with Heidi. Then the two would sit
together on the child's favorite spot, and Peter, quite subdued,
behind them. Heidi had to recite the verses, as she had done the first
day, and entertain him with all the things she knew.
At last the beautiful month of September was over. One morning the
doctor came up with a sadder face than usual. The time had come for
him to go back to Frankfurt, and great was the uncle's sadness at that
news. Heidi herself could hardly realize that her loving friend, whom
she had been seeing every day, was really leaving. The doctor himself
was loath to go, for the Alp had become as a home to him. But it was
necessary for him to go, and shaking hands with the grandfather, he
said good-bye, Heidi going along with him a little way.
Hand in hand they wandered down, till the doctor stood still. Then
caressing Heidi's curly hair, he said: "Now I must go, Heidi! I wish I
could take you along with me to Frankfurt; then I could keep you."
At those words, all the rows and rows of houses and streets, Miss
Rottenmeier and Tinette rose before Heidi's eyes. Hesitating a little,
she said: "I should like it better if you would come to see us again."
"I believe that will be better. Now farewell!" said the friendly
gentleman. When they shook hands his eyes filled with tears. Turning
quickly he hurried off.
Heidi, standing on the same spot, looked after him. What kind eyes he
had! But they had been full of tears. All of a sudden she began to cry
bitterly, and ran after her friend, calling with all her might, but
interrupted by her sobs:
"Oh doctor, doctor!"
Looking round he stood still and waited till the child had reached
him. Her tears came rolling down her cheeks while she sobbed: "I'll
come with you to Frankfurt and I'll stay as long as ever you want me
to. But first I must see grandfather."
"No, no, dear child," he said affectionately, "not at once. You must
remain here, I don't want you to get ill again. But if I should get
sick and lonely and ask you to come to me, would you come and stay
with me? Can I go away and think that somebody in this world still
cares for me and loves me?"
"Yes, I shall come to you the same day, for I really love you as much
as grandfather," Heidi assured him, crying all the time.
Shaking hands again, they parted. Heidi stayed on the same spot,
waving her hand and looking after her departing friend till he seemed
no bigger than a little dot. Then he looked back a last time at Heidi
and the sunny Alp, muttering to himself: "It is beautiful up there.
Body and soul get strengthened in that place and life seems worth
WINTER IN THE VILLAGE
The snow lay so deep around the Alm-hut that the windows seemed to
stand level with the ground and the house-door had entirely
disappeared. Round Peter's hut it was the same. When the boy went out
to shovel the snow, he had to creep through the window; then he would
sink deep into the soft snow and kick with arms and legs to get free.
Taking a broom, the boy would have to clear away the snow from the
door to prevent its falling into the hut.
The uncle had kept his word; when the first snow had fallen, he had
moved down to the village with Heidi and his goats. Near the church
and the parish house lay an old ruin that once had been a spacious
building. A brave soldier had lived there in days gone by; he had
fought in the Spanish war, and coming back with many riches, had
built himself a splendid house. But having lived too long in the noisy
world to be able to stand the monotonous life in the little town, he
soon went away, never to come back. After his death, many years later,
though the house was already beginning to decay, a distant relation of
his took possession of it. The new proprietor did not want to build it
up again, so poor people moved in. They had to pay little rent for the
house, which was gradually crumbling and falling to pieces. Years ago,
when the uncle had come to the village with Tobias, he had lived
there. Most of the time it had been empty, for the winter lasted long,
and cold winds would blow through the chinks in the walls. When poor
people lived there, their candles would be blown out and they would
shiver with cold in the dark. But the uncle, had known how to help
himself. In the fall, as soon as he had resolved to live in the
village, he came down frequently, fitting up the place as best he
On approaching the house from the back, one entered an open room,
where nearly all the walls lay in ruins. On one side the remains of a
chapel could be seen, now covered with the thickest ivy. A large hall
came next, with a beautiful stone floor and grass growing in the
crevices. Most of the walls were gone and part of the ceiling also. If
a few thick pillars had not been left supporting the rest, it would
undoubtedly have tumbled down. The uncle had made a wooden partition
here for the goats, and covered the floor with straw. Several
corridors, most of them half decayed, led finally to a chamber with a
heavy iron door. This room was still in good condition and had dark
wood panelling on the four firm walls. In one corner was an enormous
stove, which nearly reached up to the ceiling. On the white tiles were
painted blue pictures of old towers surrounded by high trees, and of
hunters with their hounds. There also was a scene with a quiet lake,
where, under shady oak-trees, a fisherman was sitting. Around the
stove a bench was placed. Heidi loved to sit there, and as soon as she
had entered their new abode, she began to examine the pictures.
Arriving at the end of the bench, she discovered a bed, which was
placed between the wall and the stove. "Oh grandfather, I have found
my bed-room," exclaimed the little girl. "Oh, how fine it is! Where
are you going to sleep?"
"Your bed must be near the stove, to keep you warm," said the old man.
"Now come and look at mine."
With that the grandfather led her into his bed-room. From there a door
led into the hugest kitchen Heidi had ever seen. With a great deal of
trouble the grandfather had fitted up this place. Many boards were
nailed across the walls and the door had been fastened with heavy
wires, for beyond, the building lay in ruins. Thick underbrush was
growing there, sheltering thousands of insects and lizards. Heidi was
delighted with her new home, and when Peter arrived next day, she did
not rest till he had seen every nook and corner of the curious
Heidi slept very well in her chimney corner, but it took her many days
to get accustomed to it. When she woke up in the morning and could not
hear the fir-trees roar, she would wonder where she was. Was the snow
too heavy on the branches? Was she away from home? But as soon as she
heard her grandfather's voice outside, she remembered everything and
would jump merrily out of bed.
After four days had gone by, Heidi said to her grandfather: "I must go
to grandmother now, she has been alone so many days."
But the grandfather shook his head and said: "You can't go yet, child.
The snow is fathoms deep up there and is still falling. Peter can
hardly get through. A little girl like you would be snowed up and lost
in no time. Wait a while till it freezes and then you can walk on top
of the crust."
Heidi was very sorry, but she was so busy now that the days flew by.
Every morning and afternoon she went to school, eagerly learning
whatever was taught her. She hardly ever saw Peter there, for he did
not come very often. The mild teacher would only say from time to
time: "It seems to me, Peter is not here again! School would do him
good, but I guess there is too much snow for him to get through." But
when Heidi came home towards evening, Peter generally paid her a
After a few days the sun came out for a short time at noon, and the
next morning the whole Alp glistened and shone like crystal. When
Peter was jumping as usual into the snow that morning, he fell against
something hard, and before he could stop himself he flew a little way
down the mountain. When he had gained his feet at last, he stamped
upon the ground with all his might. It really was frozen as hard as
stone. Peter could hardly believe it, and quickly running up and
swallowing his milk, and putting his bread in his pocket, he
announced: "I must go to school to-day!"
"Yes, go and learn nicely," answered his mother.
Then, sitting down on his sled, the boy coasted down the mountain like
a shot. Not being able to stop his course when he reached the village,
he coasted down further and further, till he arrived in the plain,
where the sled stopped of itself. It was already late for school, so
the boy took his time and only arrived in the village when Heidi came
home for dinner.
"We've got it!" announced the boy, on entering.
"What, general?" asked the uncle.
"The snow," Peter replied.
"Oh, now I can go up to grandmother!" Heidi rejoiced. "But Peter, why
didn't you come to school? You could coast down to-day," she continued
"I went too far on my sled and then it was too late," Peter replied.
"I call that deserting!" said the uncle. "People who do that must
have their ears pulled; do you hear?"
The boy was frightened, for there was no one in the world whom he
respected more than the uncle.
"A general like you ought to be doubly ashamed to do so," the uncle
went on. "What would you do with the goats if they did not obey you
"Beat them," was the reply.
"If you knew of a boy that was behaving like a disobedient goat and
had to get spanked, what would you say?"
"Serves him right."
"So now you know it, goat-general: if you miss school again, when you
ought to be there, you can come to me and get your due."
Now at last Peter understood what the uncle had meant. More kindly,
the old man then turned to Peter and said, "Come to the table now and
eat with us. Then you can go up with Heidi, and when you bring her
back at night, you can get your supper here."
This unexpected change delighted Peter. Not losing any time, he soon
disposed of his full plate. Heidi, who had given the boy most of her
dinner, was already putting on Clara's new coat. Then together they
climbed up, Heidi chatting all the time. But Peter did not say a
single word. He was preoccupied and had not even listened to Heidi's
tales. Before they entered the hut, the boy said stubbornly: "I think
I had rather go to school than get a beating from the uncle." Heidi
promptly confirmed him in his resolution.
When they went into the room, Peter's mother was alone at the table
mending. The grandmother was nowhere to be seen. Brigida now told
Heidi that the grandmother was obliged to stay in bed on those cold
days, as she did not feel very strong. That was something new for
Heidi. Quickly running to the old woman's chamber, she found her lying
in a narrow bed, wrapped up in her grey shawl and thin blanket.
"Thank Heaven!" the grandmother exclaimed when she heard her
darling's step. All autumn and winter long a secret fear had been
gnawing at her heart, that Heidi would be sent for by the strange
gentleman of whom Peter had told her so much. Heidi had approached the
bed, asking anxiously: "Are you very sick, grandmother?"
"No, no, child," the old woman reassured her, "the frost has just gone
into my limbs a little."
"Are you going to be well again as soon as the warm weather comes?"
"Yes, yes, and if God wills, even sooner. I want to go back to my
spinning-wheel and I nearly tried it to-day. I'll get up to-morrow,
though," the grandmother said confidently, for she had noticed how
frightened Heidi was.
The last speech made the child feel more happy. Then, looking
wonderingly at the grandmother, she said: "In Frankfurt people put on
a shawl when they go out. Why are you putting it on in bed,
"I put it on to keep me warm, Heidi. I am glad to have it, for my
blanket is very thin."
"But, grandmother, your bed is slanting down at your head, where it
ought to be high. No bed ought to be like that."
"I know, child, I can feel it well." So saying, the old woman tried to
change her position on the pillow that lay under her like a thin
board. "My pillow never was very thick, and sleeping on it all these
years has made it flat."
"Oh dear, if I had only asked Clara to give me the bed I had in
Frankfurt!" Heidi lamented. "It had three big pillows on it; I could
hardly sleep because I kept sliding down from them all the time. Could
you sleep with them, grandmother?"
"Of course, because that would keep me warm. I could breathe so much
easier, too," said the grandmother, trying to find a higher place to
lie on. "But I must not talk about it any more, for I have to be
thankful for many things. I get the lovely roll every day and have
this beautiful warm shawl. I also have you, my child! Heidi, wouldn't
you like to read me something to-day?"
Heidi immediately fetched the book and read one song after another.
The grandmother in the meantime was lying with folded hands; her face,
which had been so sad a short time ago, was lit up with a happy smile.
Suddenly Heidi stopped.
"Are you well again, grandmother?" she asked.
"I feel very much better, Heidi. Please finish the song, will you?"
The child obeyed, and when she came to the last words,
When mine eyes grow dim and sad,
Let Thy love more brightly burn,
That my soul, a wanderer glad,
Safely homeward may return.
"Safely homeward may return!" she exclaimed: "Oh, grandmother, I know
what it is like to come home." After a while she said: "It is getting
dark, grandmother, I must go home now. I am glad that you feel
[Illustration: THE TWO CHILDREN WERE ALREADY FLYING DOWN THE ALP]
The grandmother, holding the child's hand in hers, said: "Yes, I am
happy again, though I have to stay in bed. Nobody knows how hard it is
to lie here alone, day after day. I do not hear a word from anybody
and cannot see a ray of sunlight. I have very sad thoughts sometimes,
and often I feel as if I could not bear it any longer. But when I can
hear those blessed songs that you have read to me, it makes me feel as
if a light was shining into my heart, giving me the purest joy."
Shaking hands, the child now said good-night, and pulling Peter with
her, ran outside. The brilliant moon was shining down on the white
snow, light as day. The two children were already flying down the Alp,
like birds soaring through the air.
After Heidi had gone to bed that night, she lay awake a little while,
thinking over everything the grandmother had said, especially about
the joy the songs had given her. If only poor grandmother could hear
those comforting words every day! Heidi knew that it might be a week
or two again before she could repeat her visit. The child became very
sad when she thought how uncomfortable and lonely the old woman would
be. Was there no way for help? Suddenly Heidi had an idea, and it
thrilled her so that she felt as if she could not wait till morning
came to put her plan in execution. But in her excitement she had
forgotten her evening prayer, so sitting up in bed, she prayed
fervently to God. Then, falling back into the fragrant hay, she soon
slept peacefully and soundly still the bright morning came.
WINTER STILL CONTINUES
Peter arrived punctually at school next day. He had brought his lunch
with him in a bag, for all the children that came from far away ate in
school, while the others went home. In the evening Peter as usual paid
his visit to Heidi.
The minute he opened the door she ran up to him, saying: "Peter, I
have to tell you something."
"Say it," he replied.
"You must learn to read now," said the child.
"I have done it already."
"Yes, yes, Peter, but I don't mean it that way," Heidi eagerly
proceeded; "you must learn so that you really know how afterwards."
"I can't," Peter remarked.
"Nobody believes you about that any more, and I won't either," Heidi
said resolutely. "When I was in Frankfurt, grandmama told me that it
wasn't true and that I shouldn't believe you."
Peter's astonishment was great.
"I'll teach you, for I know how; when you have learnt it, you must
read one or two songs to grandmother every day."
"I shan't!" grumbled the boy.
This obstinate refusal made Heidi very angry. With flaming eyes she
planted herself before the boy and said: "I'll tell you what will
happen, if you don't want to learn. Your mother has often said that
she'll send you to Frankfurt. Clara showed me the terrible, large
boys' school there, where you'll have to go. You must stay there till
you are a man, Peter! You mustn't think that there is only one teacher
there, and such a kind one as we have here. No, indeed! There are
whole rows of them, and when they are out walking they have high
black hats on their heads. I saw them myself, when I was out driving!"
Cold shivers ran down Peter's back.
"Yes, you'll have to go there, and when they find out that you can't
read or even spell, they'll laugh at you!"
"I'll do it," said Peter, half angry and half frightened.
"Oh, I am glad. Let us start right away!" said Heidi joyfully, pulling
Peter over to the table. Among the things that Clara had sent, Heidi
had found a little book with the A,B,C and some rhymes. She had chosen
this for the lessons. Peter, having to spell the first rhyme, found
great difficulty, so Heidi said, "I'll read it to you, and then you'll
be able to do it better. Listen:
"If A, B, C you do not know,
Before the school board you must go."
"I won't go," said Peter stubbornly.
"Before the court."
"Hurry up and learn the three letters, then you won't have to!"
Peter, beginning again, repeated the three letters till Heidi said:
"Now you know them."
Having observed the good result of the first rhyme, she began to read
D, E, F you then must read,
Or of misfortune take good heed!
Who over L and M doth stumble,
Must pay a penance and feel humble.
There's trouble coming; if you knew,
You'd quickly learn N, O, P, Q.
If still you halt on R, S, T,
You'll suffer for it speedily.
Heidi, stopping, looked at Peter, who was so frightened by all these
threats and mysterious horrors that he sat as still as a mouse.
Heidi's tender heart was touched, and she said comfortingly: "Don't be
afraid, Peter; if you come to me every day, you'll soon learn all the
letters and then those things won't happen. But come every day, even
when it snows. Promise!"
Peter did so, and departed. Obeying Heidi's instructions, he came
daily to her for his lesson.
Sometimes the grandfather would sit in the room, smoking his pipe;
often the corners of his mouth would twitch as if he could hardly keep
He generally invited Peter to stay to supper afterwards, which
liberally rewarded the boy for all his great exertions.
Thus the days passed by. In all this time Peter had really made some
progress, though the rhymes still gave him difficulty.
When they had come to U, Heidi read:
Whoever mixes U and V,
Will go where he won't want to be!
If W you still ignore,
Look at the rod beside the door.
Often Peter would growl and object to those measures, but nevertheless
he kept on learning, and soon had but three letters left.
The next few days the following rhymes, with their threats, made Peter
more eager than ever.
If you the letter X forget
For you no supper will be set.
If you still hesitate with Y,
For shame you'll run away and cry.
When Heidi read the last,
And he who makes his Z with blots,
Must journey to the Hottentots,
Peter sneered: "Nobody even knows where they are!"
"I am sure grandfather does," Heidi retorted, jumping up. "Just wait
one minute and I shall ask him. He is over with the parson," and with
that she had opened the door.
"Wait!" shrieked Peter in great alarm, for he saw himself already
transported to those dreadful people. "What is the matter with you?"
said Heidi, standing still.
"Nothing, but stay here. I'll learn," he blubbered. But Heidi,
wanting to know something about the Hottentots herself, could only be
kept back by piteous screams from Peter. So at last they settled down
again, and before it was time to go, Peter knew the last letter, and
had even begun to read syllables. From this day on he progressed more
It was three weeks since Heidi had paid her last visit to the
grandmother, for much snow had fallen since. One evening, Peter,
coming home, said triumphantly:
"I can do it!"
"What is it you can do, Peter?" asked his mother, eagerly.
"What, is it possible? Did you hear it, grandmother?" exclaimed
The grandmother also was curious to learn how this had happened.
"I must read a song now; Heidi told me to," Peter continued. To the
women's amazement, Peter began. After every verse his mother would
exclaim, "Who would have ever thought it!" while the grandmother
One day later, when it happened that it was Peter's turn to read in
school, the teacher said:
"Peter, must I pass you by again, as usual? Or do you want to try--I
shall not say to read, but to stammer through a line?"
Peter began and read three lines without stopping.
In dumb astonishment, the teacher, putting down his book, looked at
"What miracle has happened to you?" he exclaimed. "For a long time I
tried to teach you with all my patience, and you were not even able to
grasp the letters, but now that I had given you up as hopeless, you
have not only learnt how to spell, but even to read. How did this
"It was Heidi," the boy replied.
In great amazement, the teacher looked at the little girl. Then the
kind man continued:
"I have noticed a great change in you, Peter. You used to stay away
from school, sometimes more than a week, and lately you have not even
missed a day. Who has brought about this change?"
Every evening now Peter on his return home read one song to his
grandmother, but never more. To the frequent praises of Brigida, the
old woman once replied: "I am glad he has learnt something, but
nevertheless I am longing for the spring to come. Then Heidi can visit
me, for when she reads, the verses sound so different. I cannot always
follow Peter, and the songs don't thrill me the way they do when Heidi
And no wonder! For Peter would often leave out long and difficult
words,--what did three or four words matter! So it happened sometimes
that there were hardly any nouns left in the hymns that Peter read.
NEWS FROM DISTANT FRIENDS
May had come. Warm sunshine was bathing the whole Alp in glorious
light, and having melted the last snow, had brought the first spring
flowers to the surface. A merry spring wind was blowing, drying up the
damp places in the shadow. High above in the azure heaven the eagle
Heidi and her grandfather were back on the Alp. The child was so happy
to be home again that she jumped about among the beloved objects. Here
she discovered a new spring bud, and there she watched the gay little
gnats and beetles that were swarming in the sun.
The grandfather was busy in his little shop, and a sound of hammering
and sawing could be heard. Heidi had to go and see what the
grandfather was making. There before the door stood a neat new chair,
while the old man was busy making a second.
"Oh, I know what they are for," said Heidi gaily. "You are making them
for Clara and grandmama. Oh, but we need a third--or do you think that
Miss Rottenmeier won't come, perhaps?"
"I really don't know," said grandfather: "but it is safer to have a
chair for her, if she should come."
Heidi, thoughtfully looking at the backless chairs, remarked:
"Grandfather, I don't think she would sit down on those."
"Then we must invite her to sit down on the beautiful green lounge of
grass," quietly answered the old man.
While Heidi was still wondering what the grandfather had meant, Peter
arrived, whistling and calling. As usual, Heidi was soon surrounded by
the goats, who also seemed happy to be back on the Alp. Peter, angrily
pushing the goats aside, marched up to Heidi, thrusting a letter into
"Did you get a letter for me on the pasture?" Heidi said, astonished.
"Where did it come from?"
"From my bag."
The letter had been given to Peter the previous evening; putting it in
his lunch-bag, the boy had forgotten it there till he opened the bag
for his dinner. Heidi immediately recognized Clara's handwriting, and
bounding over to her grandfather, exclaimed: "A letter has come from
Clara. Wouldn't you like me to read it to you, grandfather?"
Heidi immediately read to her two listeners, as follows:--
We are all packed up and shall travel in two or three days. Papa
is leaving, too, but not with us, for he has to go to Paris
first. The dear doctor visits us now every day, and as soon as
he opens the door, he calls, 'Away to the Alp!' for he can
hardly wait for us to go. If you only knew how he enjoyed being
with you last fall! He came nearly every day this winter to tell
us all about you and the grandfather and the mountains and the
flowers he saw. He said that it was so quiet in the pure,
delicious air, away from towns and streets, that everybody has
to get well there. He is much better himself since his visit,
and seems younger and happier. Oh, how I look forward to it all!
The doctor's advice is, that I shall go to Ragatz first for
about six weeks, then I can go to live in the village, and from
there I shall come to see you every fine day. Grandmama, who is
coming with me, is looking forward to the trip too. But just
think, Miss Rottenmeier does not want to go. When grandmama
urges her, she always declines politely. I think Sebastian must
have given her such a terrible description of the high rocks and
fearful abysses, that she is afraid. I think he told her that it
was not safe for anybody, and that only goats could climb such
dreadful heights. She used to be so eager to go to Switzerland,
but now neither Tinette nor she wants to take the risk. I can
hardly wait to see you again!
Good-bye, dear Heidi, with much love from grandmama,
I am your true friend,
When Peter heard this, he swung his rod to right and left. Furiously
driving the goats before him, he bounded down the hill.
Heidi visited the grandmother next day, for she had to tell her the
good news. Sitting up in her corner, the old woman was spinning as
usual. Her face looked sad, for Peter had already announced the near
visit of Heidi's friends, and she dreaded the result.
After having poured out her full heart, Heidi looked at the old woman.
"What is it, grandmother?" said the child. "Are you not glad?"
"Oh yes, Heidi, I am glad, because you are happy."
"But, grandmother, you seem so anxious. Do you still think Miss
Rottenmeier is coming?"
"Oh no, it is nothing. Give me your hand, for I want to be sure that
you are still here. I suppose it will be for the best, even if I shall
not live to see the day!"
"Oh, but then I would not care about this coming," said the child.
The grandmother had hardly slept all night for thinking of Clara's
coming. Would they take Heidi away from her, now that she was well and
strong? But for the sake of the child she resolved to be brave.
"Heidi," she said, "please read me the song that begins with 'God will
see to it.'"
Heidi immediately did as she was told; she knew nearly all the
grandmother's favorite hymns by now and always found them quickly.
"That does me good, child," the old woman said. Already the expression
of her face seemed happier and less troubled. "Please read it a few
times over, child," she entreated.
Thus evening came, and when Heidi wandered homewards, one twinkling
star after another appeared in the sky. Heidi stood still every few
minutes, looking up to the firmament in wonder. When she arrived home,
her grandfather also was looking up to the stars, murmuring to
himself: "What a wonderful month!--one day clearer than the other.
The herbs will be fine and strong this year."
The blossom month had passed, and June, with the long, long days, had
come. Quantities of flowers were blooming everywhere, filling the air
with perfume. The month was nearing its end, when one morning Heidi
came running out of the hut, where she had already completed her
duties. Suddenly she screamed so loud that the grandfather hurriedly
came out to see what had happened.
"Grandfather! Come here! Look, look!"
A strange procession was winding up the Alm. First marched two men,
carrying an open sedan chair with a young girl in it, wrapped up in
many shawls. Then came a stately lady on horseback, who, talking with
a young guide beside her, looked eagerly right and left. Then an empty
rolling-chair, carried by a young fellow, was followed by a porter who
had so many covers, shawls and furs piled up on his basket that they
towered high above his head.
"They are coming! they are coming!" cried Heidi in her joy, and soon
the party had arrived at the top. Great was the happiness of the
children at seeing each other again. When grandmama had descended from
her horse, she tenderly greeted Heidi first, and then turned to the
uncle, who had approached the group. The two met like two old friends,
they had heard so much about each other.
After the first words were exchanged, the grandmother exclaimed: "My
dear uncle, what a wonderful residence you have. Who would have ever
thought it! Kings could envy you here! Oh, how well my Heidi is
looking, just like a little rose!" she continued, drawing the child
closely to her side and patting her cheeks. "What glory everywhere!
Clara, what do you say to it all?"
Clara, looking about her rapturously, cried: "Oh, how wonderful, how
glorious! I have never dreamt it could be as beautiful as that. Oh
grandmama, I wish I could stay here!"
The uncle had busied himself in the meantime with getting Clara's
rolling-chair for her. Then, going up to the girl, he gently lifted
her into her seat. Putting some covers over her knees, he tucked her
feet in warmly. It seemed as if the grandfather had done nothing else
all his life than nurse lame people.
"My dear uncle," said the grandmama, surprised, "please tell me where
you learned that, for I shall send all the nurses I know here
The uncle smiled faintly, while he replied: "It comes more from care
His face became sad. Before his eyes had risen bygone times. For that
was the way he used to care for his poor wounded captain, whom he had
found in Sicily after a violent battle. He alone had been allowed to
nurse him till his death, and now he would take just as good care of
poor, lame Clara.
When Clara had looked a long time at the cloudless sky above and all
the rocky crags, she said longingly: "I wish I could walk round the
hut to the fir-trees. If I only could see all the things you told me
so much about!"
Heidi pushed with all her might, and behold! the chair rolled easily
over the dry grass. When they had come into the little grove, Clara
could not see her fill of those splendid trees that must have stood
there so many, many years. Although the people had changed and
vanished, they had remained the same, ever looking down into the
When they passed the empty goat-shed, Clara said pitifully: "Oh
grandmama, if I could only wait up here for Schwänli and Bärli! I am
afraid I shan't see Peter and his goats, if we have to go away so soon
"Dear child, enjoy now what you can," said the grandmama, who had
"Oh, what wonderful flowers!" exclaimed Clara again; "whole bushes of
exquisite, red blossoms. Oh, if I could only pick some of those
Heidi, immediately gathering a large bunch, put them in Clara's lap.
"Clara, this is really nothing in comparison with the many flowers in
the pasture. You must come up once and see them. There are so many
that the ground seems golden with them. If you ever sit down among
them, you will feel as if you could never get up any more, it is so
"Oh, grandmama, do you think I can ever go up there?" Clara asked with
a wild longing in her eyes. "If I could only walk with you, Heidi, and
climb round everywhere!"
"I'll push you!" Heidi said for comfort. To show how easy it was, she
pushed the chair at such a rate that it would have tumbled down the
mountain, if the grandfather had not stopped it at the last moment.
It was time for dinner now. The table was spread near the bench, and
soon everybody sat down. The grandmother was so overcome by the view
and the delicious wind that fanned her cheek that she remarked: "What
a wondrous place this is! I have never seen its like! But what do I
see?" she continued. "I think you are actually eating your second
piece of cheese, Clara?"
"Oh grandmama, it tastes better than all the things we get in Ragatz,"
replied the child, eagerly eating the savory dish.
"Don't stop, our mountain wind helps along where the cooking is
faulty!" contentedly said the old man.
During the meal the uncle and the grandmama had soon got into a lively
conversation. They seemed to agree on many things, and understood each
other like old friends. A little later the grandmama looked over to
"We must soon start, Clara, for the sun is already low; our guides
will be here shortly."
Clara's face had become sad, and she entreated: "Oh, please let us
stay here another hour or so. We haven't even seen the hut yet. I wish
the day were twice as long."
The grandmama assented to Clara's wish to go inside. When the
rolling-chair was found too broad for the door, the uncle quietly
lifted Clara in his strong arms and carried her in. Grandmama was
eagerly looking about her, glad to see everything so neat. Then going
up the little ladder to the hay-loft, she discovered Heidi's bed. "Is
that your bed, Heidi? What a delicious perfume! It must be a healthy
place to sleep," she said, looking out through the window. The
grandfather, with Clara, was coming up, too, with Heidi following.
Clara was perfectly entranced. "What a lovely place to sleep! Oh,
Heidi, you can look right up to the sky from your bed. What a good
smell! You can hear the fir-trees roar here, can't you? Oh, I never
saw a more delightful bed-room!"
The uncle, looking at the old lady, said now: "I have an idea that it
would give Clara new strength to stay up here with us a little while.
Of course, I only mean if you did not object. You have brought so many
wraps that we can easily make a soft bed for Clara here. My dear lady,
you can easily leave the care to me. I'll undertake it gladly."
The children screamed for joy, and grandmama's face was beaming.
"What a fine man you are!" she burst out. "I was just thinking myself
that a stay here would strengthen the child, but then I thought of the
care and trouble for you. And now you have offered to do it, as if it
was nothing at all. How can I thank you enough, uncle?"
After shaking hands many times, the two prepared Clara's bed, which,
thanks to the old lady's precautions, was soon so soft that the hay
could not be felt through at all.
The uncle had carried his new patient back to her rolling-chair, and
there they found her sitting, with Heidi beside her. They were eagerly
talking of their plans for the coming weeks. When they were told that
Clara might stay for a month or so, their faces beamed more than ever.
The guide, with the horse, and the carriers of the chair, now
appeared, but the last two were not needed any more and could be sent
When the grandmother got ready to leave, Clara called gaily to her:
"Oh grandmama, it won't be long, for you must often come and see us."
While the uncle was leading the horse down the steep incline, the
grandmama told him that she would go back to Ragatz, for the Dörfli
was too lonely for her. She also promised to come back from time to
Before the grandfather had returned, Peter came racing down to the hut
with all his goats. Seeing Heidi, they ran up to her in haste, and so
Clara made the acquaintance of Schwänli and Bärli and all the others.
Peter, however, kept away, only sending furious looks at the two
girls. When they bade him good-night, he only ran away, beating the
air with his stick.
The end of the joyous day had come. The two children were both lying
in their beds.
"Oh, Heidi!" Clara exclaimed, "I can see so many glittering stars, and
I feel as if we were driving in a high carriage straight into the
"Yes, and do you know why the stars twinkle so merrily?" inquired
"No, but tell me."
"Because they know that God in heaven looks after us mortals and we
never need to fear. See, they twinkle and show us how to be merry,
too. But Clara, we must not forget to pray to God and ask Him to think
of us and keep us safe."
Sitting up in bed, they then said their evening prayer. As soon as
Heidi lay down, she fell asleep. But Clara could not sleep quite yet,
it was too wonderful to see the stars from her bed.
In truth she had never seen them before, because in Frankfurt all the
blinds were always down long before the stars came out, and at night
she had never been outside the house. She could hardly keep her eyes
shut, and had to open them again and again to watch the twinkling,
glistening stars, till her eyes closed at last and she saw two big,
glittering stars in her dream.
OF FURTHER EVENTS ON THE ALP
The sun was just rising, and the Alm-Uncle was watching how mountain
and dale awoke to the new day, and the clouds above grew brighter.
Next, the old man turned to go back into the hut, and softly climbed
the ladder. Clara, having just a moment ago opened her eyes, looked
about her in amazement. Bright sunbeams danced on her bed. Where was
she? But soon she discovered her sleeping friend, and heard the
grandfather's cheery voice:
"How did you sleep? Not tired?"
Clara, feeling fresh and rested, said that she had never slept better
in all her life. Heidi was soon awake, too, and lost no time in coming
down to join Clara, who was already sitting in the sun.
A cool morning breeze fanned their cheeks, and the spicy fragrance
from the fir-trees filled their lungs with every breath. Clara had
never experienced such well-being in all her life. She had never
breathed such pure, cool morning air and never felt such warm,
delicious sunshine on her feet and hands. It surpassed all her
"Oh, Heidi, I wish I could always stay up here with you!" she said.
"Now you can see that everything is as beautiful as I told you," Heidi
replied triumphantly. "Up on the Alp with grandfather is the loveliest
spot in all the world."
The grandfather was just coming out of the shed with two full bowls of
steaming, snow-white milk. Handing one to each of the children, he
said to Clara: "This will do you good, little girl. It comes from
Schwänli and will give you strength. To your health! Just drink it!"
he said encouragingly, for Clara had hesitated a little. But when she
saw that Heidi's bowl was nearly empty already, she also drank
without even stopping. Oh, how good it was! It tasted like cinnamon
"We'll take two tomorrow," said the grandfather.
After their breakfast, Peter arrived. While the goats were rushing up
to Heidi, bleating loudly, the grandfather took the boy aside.
"Just listen, and do what I tell you," he said. "From now on you must
let Schwänli go wherever she likes. She knows where to get the richest
herbs, and you must follow her, even if she should go higher up than
usual. It won't do you any harm to climb a little more, and will do
all the others good. I want the goats to give me splendid milk,
remember. What are you looking at so furiously?"
Peter was silent, and without more ado started off, still angrily
looking back now and then. As Heidi had followed a little way, Peter
called to her: "You must come along, Heidi, Schwänli has to be
"No, but I can't," Heidi called back: "I won't be able to come as
long as Clara is with me. Grandfather has promised, though, to let us
come up with you once."
With those words Heidi returned to Clara, while the goatherd was
hurrying onward, angrily shaking his fists.
The children had promised to write a letter to grandmama every day, so
they immediately started on their task. Heidi brought out her own
little three-legged stool, her school-books and her papers, and with
these on Clara's lap they began to write. Clara stopped after nearly
every sentence, for she had to look around. Oh, how peaceful it was
with the little gnats dancing in the sun and the rustling of the
trees! From time to time they could hear the shouting of a shepherd
re-echoed from many rocks.
The morning had passed, they knew not how, and dinner was ready. They
again ate outside, for Clara had to be in the open air all day, if
possible. The afternoon was spent in the cool shadow of the fir-trees.
Clara had many things to relate of Frankfurt and all the people that
Heidi knew. It was not long before Peter arrived with his flock, but
without even answering the girls' friendly greeting, he disappeared
with a grim scowl.
While Schwänli was being milked in the shed, Clara said:
"Oh, Heidi, I feel as if I could not wait for my milk. Isn't it funny?
All my life I have only eaten because I had to. Everything always
tasted to me like cod-liver oil, and I have often wished that I should
never have to eat. And now I am so hungry!"
"Oh yes, I know," Heidi replied. She had to think of the days in
Frankfurt when her food seemed to stick in her throat.
When at last the full bowls were brought by the old man, Clara,
seizing hers, eagerly drank the contents in one draught and even
finished before Heidi.
"Please, may I have a little more?" she asked, holding out the bowl.
Nodding, much pleased, the grandfather soon refilled it. This time he
also brought with him a slice of bread and butter for the children.
He had gone to Maiensass that afternoon to get the butter, and his
trouble was well rewarded: they enjoyed it as if it had been the
This evening Clara fell asleep the moment she lay down. Two or three
days passed in this pleasant way. The next brought a surprise. Two
strong porters came up the Alp, each carrying on his back a fresh,
white bed. They also brought a letter from grandmama, in which she
thanked the children for their faithful writing, and told them that
the beds were meant for them. When they went to sleep that night, they
found their new beds in exactly the same position as their former ones
Clara's rapture in her new life grew greater every day, and she could
not write enough of the grandfather's kindly care and of Heidi's
entertaining stories. She told her grandmama that her first thought in
the morning always was: "Thank God, I am still in the Alm-hut."
Grandmama was highly pleased at those reports, and put her projected
visit off a little while, for she had found the ride pretty tiring.
The grandfather took excellent care of his little patient, and no day
passed on which he did not climb around to find the most savory herbs
for Schwänli. The little goat thrived so that everybody could see it
in the way her eyes were flashing.
It was the third week of Clara's stay. Every morning after the
grandfather had carried her down, he said to her: "Would my Clara try
to stand a little?" Clara always sighed, "Oh, it hurts me so!" but
though she would cling to him, he made her stand a little longer every
This summer was the finest that had been for years. Day after day the
sun shone on a cloudless sky, and at night it would pour its purple,
rosy light down on the rocks and snow-fields till everything seemed to
glow like fire.
Heidi had told Clara over and over again of all the flowers on the
pasture, of the masses of golden roses and the blue-flowers that
covered the ground. She had just been telling it again, when a longing
seized her, and jumping up she ran over to her grandfather, who was
busy carving in the shop.
"Oh, grandfather," she cried from afar, "won't you come with us to the
pasture tomorrow? Oh, it's so beautiful up there now."
"All right, I will," he replied; "but tell Clara that she must do
something to please me; she must try to stand longer this evening for
Heidi merrily came running with her message. Of course, Clara
promised, for was it not her greatest wish to go up with Heidi to the
pasture! When Peter returned this evening, he heard of the plan for
the morrow. But for answer Peter only growled, nearly hitting poor
Thistlefinch in his anger.
The children had just resolved to stay awake all night to talk about
the coming day, when their conversation suddenly ceased and they were
both peacefully slumbering. In her dreams Clara saw before her a field
that was thickly strewn with light-blue flowers, while Heidi heard the
eagle scream to her from above, "Come, come, come!"
SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS
The next day dawned cloudless and fair. The grandfather was still with
the children, when Peter came climbing up; his goats kept at a good
distance from him, to evade the rod, which was striking right and
left. The truth was that the boy was terribly embittered and angry by
the changes that had come. When he passed the hut in the morning,
Heidi was always busy with the strange child, and in the evening it
was the same. All summer long Heidi had not been up with him a single
time; it was too much! And to-day she was coming at last, but again in
company with this hateful stranger.
[Illustration: HE WATCHED HIS FALLEN ENEMY TUMBLING DOWNWARDS,
It was then that Peter noticed the rolling-chair standing near the
hut. After carefully glancing about him, he rushed at the hated
object and pushed it down the incline. The chair fairly flew away and
had soon disappeared.
Peter's conscience smote him now, and he raced up the Alp, not daring
to pause till he had reached a blackberry bush. There he could hide,
when the uncle might appear. Looking down, he watched his fallen enemy
tumbling downwards, downwards.
Sometimes it was thrown high up into the air, to crash down again the
next moment harder than ever. Pieces were falling from it right and
left, and were blown about. Now the stranger would have to travel home
and Heidi would be his again! But Peter had forgotten that a bad deed
always brings a punishment.
Heidi just now came out of the hut. The grandfather, with Clara,
followed. Heidi at first stood still, and then, running right and
left, she returned to the old man.
"What does this mean? Have you rolled the chair away Heidi?" he
"I am just looking for it everywhere, grandfather. You said it was
beside the shop door," said the child, still hunting for the missing
object. A strong wind was blowing, which at this moment violently
closed the shop-door.
"Grandfather, the wind has done it," exclaimed Heidi eagerly. "Oh
dear! if it has rolled all the way down to the village, it will be too
late to go to-day. It will take us a long time to fetch it."
"If it has rolled down there, we shall never get it any more, for it
will be smashed to pieces," said the old man, looking down and
measuring the distance from the corner of the hut.
"I don't see how it happened," he remarked.
"What a shame! now I'll never be able to go up to the pasture,"
lamented Clara. "I am afraid I'll have to go home now. What a pity,
what a pity!"
"You can find a way for her to stay, grandfather, can't you?"
"We'll go up to the pasture to-day, as we have planned. Then we shall
see what further happens."
The children were delighted, and the grandfather lost no time in
getting ready. First he fetched a pile of covers, and seating Clara on
a sunny spot on the dry ground, he got their breakfast.
"I wonder why Peter is so late to-day," he said, leading his goats out
of the shed. Then, lifting Clara up on one strong arm, he carried the
covers on the other.
"Now, march!" he cried. "The goats come with us."
That suited Heidi, and with one arm round Schwänli and the other round
Bärli, she wandered up. Her little companions were so pleased at
having her with them again that they nearly crushed her with
What was their astonishment when, arriving on top, they saw Peter
already lying on the ground, with his peaceful flock about him.
"What did you mean by going by us like that? I'll teach you!" called
the uncle to him.
Peter was frightened, for he knew the voice.
"Nobody was up yet," the boy retorted.
"Have you seen the chair?" asked the uncle again.
"Which?" Peter growled.
The uncle said no more. Unfolding the covers, he put Clara down on the
dry grass. Then, when he had been assured of Clara's comfort, he got
ready to go home. The three were to stay there till his return in the
evening. When dinner time had come, Heidi was to prepare the meal and
see that Clara got Schwänli's milk.
The sky was a deep blue, and the snow on the peaks was glistening. The
eagle was floating above the rocky crags. The children felt
wonderfully happy. Now and then one of the goats would come and lie
down near them. Tender little Snowhopper came oftener than any and
would rub her head against their shoulders.
They had been sitting quietly for a few hours, drinking in the beauty
about them, when Heidi suddenly began to long for the spot where so
many flowers grew. In the evening it would be too late to see them,
for they always shut their little eyes by then.
"Oh, Clara," she said hesitatingly, "would you be angry if I went away
from you a minute and left you alone? I want to see the flowers; But
wait!--" Jumping away, she brought Clara some bunches of fragrant
herbs and put them in her lap. Soon after she returned with little
"So, now you don't need to be alone," said Heidi. When Clara had
assured her that it would give her pleasure to be left alone with the
goats, Heidi started on her walk. Clara slowly handed one leaf after
another to the little creature; it became more and more confiding, and
cuddling close to the child, ate the herbs out of her hand. It was
easy to see how happy it was to be away from the boisterous big goats,
which often annoyed it. Clara felt a sensation of contentment such as
she had never before experienced. She loved to sit there on the
mountain-side with the confiding little goat by her. A great desire
rose in her heart that hour. She longed to be her own master and be
able to help others instead of being helped by them. Many other
thoughts and ideas rushed through her mind. How would it be to live up
here in continual sunshine? The world seemed so joyous and wonderful
all of a sudden. Premonitions of future undreamt-of happiness made her
heart beat. Suddenly she threw both arms about the little goat and
said: "Oh, little Snowhopper how beautiful it is up here! If I could
always stay with you!"
Heidi in the meantime had reached the spot, where, as she had
expected, the whole ground was covered with yellow rock-roses. Near
together in patches the bluebells were nodding gently in the breeze.
But all the perfume that filled the air came from the modest little
brown flowers that hid their heads between the golden flower-cups.
Heidi stood enraptured, drawing in the perfumed air.
Suddenly she turned and ran back to Clara, shouting to her from far:
"Oh, you must come, Clara, it is so lovely there. In the evening it
won't be so fine any more. Don't you think I could carry you?"
"But Heidi," Clara said, "of course you can't; you are much smaller
than I am. Oh, I wish I could walk!"
Heidi meditated a little. Peter was still lying on the ground. He had
been staring down for hours, unable to believe what he saw before him.
He had destroyed the chair to get rid of the stranger, and there she
was again, sitting right beside his playmate.
Heidi now called to him to come down, but as reply he only grumbled:
"But you must; come quickly, for I want you to help me. Quickly!"
urged the child.
"Don't want to," sounded the reply.
Heidi hurried up the mountain now and shouted angrily to the boy:
"Peter, if you don't come this minute, I shall do something that you
Those words scared Peter, for his conscience was not clear. His deed
had rejoiced him till this moment, when Heidi seemed to talk as if she
knew it all. What if the grandfather should hear about it! Trembling
with fear, Peter obeyed.
"I shall only come if you promise not to do what you said," insisted
"No, no, I won't. Don't be afraid," said Heidi compassionately: "Just
come along; it isn't so hard."
Peter, on approaching Clara, was told to help raise the lame child
from the ground on one side, while Heidi helped on the other. This
went easily enough, but difficulties soon followed. Clara was not able
to stand alone, and how could they get any further?
"You must take me round the neck," said Heidi, who had seen what poor
guides they made.
The boy, who had never offered his arm to anybody in his life, had to
be shown how first, before further efforts could be made. But it was
too hard. Clara tried to set her feet forward, but got discouraged.
"Press your feet on the ground more and I am sure it will hurt you
less," suggested Heidi.
"Do you think so?" said Clara, timidly.
But, obeying, she ventured a firmer step and soon another, uttering a
little cry as she went.
"Oh, it really has hurt me less," she said joyfully.
"Try it again," Heidi urged her. Clara did, and took another step, and
then another, and another still. Suddenly she cried aloud: "Oh, Heidi,
I can do it. Oh, I really can. Just look! I can take steps, one after
Heidi rapturously exclaimed: "Oh, Clara, can you really? Can you walk?
Oh, can you take steps now? Oh, if only grandfather would come! Now
you can walk, Clara, now you can walk," she kept on saying joyfully.
Clara held on tight to the children, but with every new step she
became more firm.
"Now you can come up here every day," cried Heidi. "Now we can walk
wherever we want to and you don't have to be pushed in a chair any
more. Now you'll be able to walk all your life. Oh, what joy!"
Clara's greatest wish, to be able to be well like other people, had
been fulfilled at last. It was not very far to the flowering field.
Soon they reached it and sat down among the wealth of bloom. It was
the first time that Clara had ever rested on the dry, warm earth. All
about them the flowers nodded and exhaled their perfume. It was a
scene of exquisite beauty.
The two children could hardly grasp this happiness that had come to
them. It filled their hearts brimming full and made them silent. Peter
also lay motionless, for he had gone to sleep.
Thus the hours flew, and the day was long past noon. Suddenly all the
goats arrived, for they had been seeking the children. They did not
like to graze in the flowers, and were glad when Peter awoke with
their loud bleating. The poor boy was mightily bewildered, for he had
dreamt that the rolling-chair with the red cushions stood again before
his eyes. On awaking, he had still seen the golden nails; but soon he
discovered that they were nothing but flowers. Remembering his deed,
he obeyed Heidi's instructions willingly.
When they came back to their former place, Heidi lost no time in
setting out the dinner. The bag was very full to-day, and Heidi
hurried to fulfill her promise to Peter, who with bad conscience had
understood her threat differently. She made three heaps of the good
things, and when Clara and she were through, there was still a lot
left for the boy. It was too bad that all this treat did not give him
the usual satisfaction, for something seemed to stick in his throat.
Soon after their belated dinner, the grandfather was seen climbing up
the Alp. Heidi ran to meet him, confusedly telling him of the great
event. The old man's face shone at this news. Going over to Clara, he
said: "So you have risked it? Now we have won."
Then picking her up, he put one arm around her waist, and the other
one he stretched out as support, and with his help she marched more
firmly than ever. Heidi jumped and bounded gaily by their side. In all
this excitement the grandfather did not lose his judgment, and before
long lifted Clara on his arm to carry her home. He knew that too much
exertion would be dangerous, and rest was needed for the tired girl.
Peter, arriving in the village late that day, saw a large disputing
crowd. They were all standing about an interesting object, and
everybody pushed and fought for a chance to get nearest. It was no
other than the chair.
"I saw it when they carried it up," Peter heard the baker say. "I bet
it was worth at least five hundred francs. I should just like to know
how it has happened."
"The wind might have blown it down," remarked Barbara, who was staring
open-mouthed at the beautiful velvet cushions. "The uncle said so
"It is a good thing if nobody else has done it," continued the baker.
"When the gentleman from Frankfurt hears what has happened, he'll
surely find out all about it, and I should pity the culprit. I am glad
I haven't been up on the Alm for so long, else they might suspect me,
as they would anybody who happened to be up there at the time."
Many more opinions were uttered, but Peter had heard enough. He
quietly slipped away and went home. What if they should find out he
had done it? A policeman might arrive any time now and they might take
him away to prison. Peter's hair stood up on end at this alarming
He was so troubled when he came home that he did not answer any
questions and even refused his dish of potatoes. Hurriedly creeping
into bed, he groaned.
"I am sure Peter has eaten sorrel again, and that makes him groan so,"
said his mother.
"You must give him a little more bread in the morning, Brigida. Take a
piece of mine," said the compassionate grandmother.
When Clara and Heidi were lying in their beds that night, glancing up
at the shining stars, Heidi remarked: "Didn't you think to-day, Clara,
that it is fortunate God does not always give us what we pray for
fervently, because He knows of something better?"
"What do you mean, Heidi?" asked Clara.
"You see, when I was in Frankfurt I prayed and prayed to come home
again, and when I couldn't, I thought He had forgotten me. But if I
had gone away so soon you would never have come here and would never
have got well."
Clara, becoming thoughtful, said: "But, Heidi, then we could not pray
for anything any more, because we would feel that He always knows of
"But, Clara, we must pray to God every day to show we don't forget
that all gifts come from Him. Grandmama has told me that God forgets
us if we forget Him. But if some wish remains unfulfilled we must show
our confidence in Him, for he knows best."
"How did you ever think of that?" asked Clara.
"Grandmama told me, but I know that it is so. We must thank God to-day
that He has made you able to walk, Clara."
"I am glad that you have reminded me, Heidi, for I have nearly
forgotten it in my excitement."
The children both prayed and sent their thanks up to heaven for the
restoration of the invalid.
Next morning a letter was written to grandmama, inviting her to come
up to the Alp within a week's time, for the children had planned to
take her by surprise. Clara hoped then to be able to walk alone, with
Heidi for her guide.
The following days were happier still for Clara. Every morning she
awoke with her heart singing over and over again, "Now I am well! Now
I can walk like other people!"
She progressed, and took longer walks every day. Her appetite grew
amazingly, and the grandfather had to make larger slices of the bread
and butter that, to his delight, disappeared so rapidly. He had to
fill bowl after bowl of the foaming milk for the hungry children. In
that way they reached the end of the week that was to bring the
PARTING TO MEET AGAIN
A day before her visit the grandmama had sent a letter to announce her
coming. Peter brought it up with him next morning. The grandfather was
already before the hut with the children and his merry goats. His face
looked proud, as he contemplated the rosy faces of the girls and the
shining hair of his two goats.
Peter, approaching, neared the uncle slowly. As soon as he had
delivered the letter, he sprang back shyly, looking about him as if he
was afraid. Then with a leap he started off.
"I should like to know why Peter behaves like the Big Turk when he is
afraid of the rod," said Heidi, watching his strange behavior.
"Maybe Peter fears a rod that he deserves," said the old man.
All the way Peter was tormented with fear. He could not help thinking
of the policeman who was coming from Frankfurt to fetch him to prison.
It was a busy morning for Heidi, who put the hut in order for the
expected visitor. The time went by quickly, and soon everything was
ready to welcome the good grandmama.
The grandfather also returned from a walk, on which he had gathered a
glorious bunch of deep-blue gentians. The children, who were sitting
on the bench, exclaimed for joy when they saw the glowing flowers.
Heidi, getting up from time to time to spy down the path, suddenly
discovered grandmama, sitting on a white horse and accompanied by two
men. One of them carried plenty of wraps, for without those the lady
did not dare to pay such a visit.
The party came nearer and nearer, and soon reached the top.
"What do I see? Clara, what is this? Why are you not sitting in your
chair? How is this possible?" cried the grandmama in alarm,
dismounting hastily. Before she had quite reached the children she
threw her arms up in great excitement:
"Clara, is that really you? You have red, round cheeks, my child! I
hardly know you any more!" Grandmama was going to rush at her
grandchild, when Heidi slipped from the bench, and Clara, taking her
arm, they quietly took a little walk. The grandmama was rooted to the
spot from fear. What was this? Upright and firm, Clara walked beside
her friend. When they came back their rosy faces beamed. Rushing
toward the children, the grandmother hugged them over and over again.
Looking over to the bench, she beheld the uncle, who sat there
smiling. Taking Clara's arm in hers, she walked over to him,
continually venting her delight. When she reached the old man, she
took both his hands in hers and said:
"My dear, dear uncle! What have we to thank you for! This is your
work, your care and nursing--"
"But our Lord's sunshine and mountain air," interrupted the uncle,
Then Clara called, "Yes, and also Schwänli's good, delicious milk.
Grandmama, you ought to see how much goat-milk I can drink now; oh, it
is so good!"
"Indeed I can see that from your cheeks," said the grandmama, smiling.
"No, I hardly recognize you any more. You have become broad and round!
I never dreamt that you could get so stout and tall! Oh, Clara, is it
really true? I cannot look at you enough. But now I must telegraph
your father to come. I shan't tell him anything about you, for it will
be the greatest joy of all his life. My dear uncle, how are we going
to manage it? Have you sent the men away?"
"I have, but I can easily send the goatherd."
So they decided that Peter should take the message. The uncle
immediately whistled so loud that it resounded from all sides. Soon
Peter arrived, white with fear, for he thought his doom had come. But
he only received a paper that was to be carried to the post-office of
Relieved for the moment, Peter set out. Now all the happy friends sat
down round the table, and grandmama was told how the miracle had
happened. Often the talk was interrupted by exclamations of surprise
from grandmama, who still believed it was all a dream. How could this
be her pale, weak little Clara? The children were in a constant state
of joy, to see how their surprise had worked.
Meanwhile Mr. Sesemann, having finished his business in Paris, was
also preparing a surprise. Without writing his mother he traveled to
Ragatz on a sunny summer morning. He had arrived on this very day,
some hours after his mother's departure, and now, taking a carriage,
he drove to Mayenfeld.
The long ascent to the Alp from there seemed very weary and far to
the traveller. When would he reach the goat-herd's hut? There were
many little roads branching off in several directions, and sometimes
Mr. Sesemann doubted if he had taken the right path. But not a soul
was near, and no sound could be heard except the rustling of the wind
and the hum of little insects. A merry little bird was singing on a
larch-tree, but nothing more.
Standing still and cooling his brow, he saw a boy running down the
hill at topmost speed. Mr. Sesemann called to him, but with no
success, for the boy kept at a shy distance.
"Now, my boy, can't you tell me if I am on the right path to the hut
where Heidi lives and the people from Frankfurt are staying?"
A dull sound of terror was the only reply. Peter shot off and rushed
head over heels down the mountain-side, turning wild somersaults on
his perilous way. His course resembled the course his enemy had taken
some days ago.
[Illustration: PETER SHOT OFF AND RUSHED DOWN THE MOUNTAIN-SIDE,
TURNING WILD SOMERSAULTS ON HIS PERILOUS WAY]
"What a funny, bashful mountaineer!" Mr. Sesemann remarked to himself,
thinking that the appearance of a stranger had upset this simple son
of the Alps. After watching the downward course of the boy a little
while, he soon proceeded on his way.
In spite of the greatest effort, Peter could not stop himself, and
kept rolling on. But his fright and terror were still more terrible
than his bumps and blows. This stranger was the policeman, that was a
certain fact! At last, being thrown against a bush, he clutched it
"Good, here's another one!" a voice near Peter said. "I wonder who is
going to be pushed down tomorrow, looking like a half-open
potato-bag?" The village baker was making fun of him. For a little
rest after his weary work, he had quietly watched the boy.
Peter regained his feet and slunk away. How did the baker know the
chair had been pushed? He longed to go home to bed and hide, for there
alone he felt safe. But he had to go up to the goats, and the uncle
had clearly told him to come back as quickly as he could. Groaning, he
limped away up to the Alp. How could he run now, with his fear and all
his poor, sore limbs?
Mr. Sesemann had reached the hut soon after meeting Peter, and felt
reassured. Climbing further, with renewed courage, he at last saw his
goal before him, but not without long and weary exertion. He saw the
Alm-hut above him, and the swaying fir-trees. Mr. Sesemann eagerly
hurried to encounter his beloved child. They had seen him long ago
from the hut, and a treat was prepared for him that he never
As he made the last steps, he saw two forms coming towards him. A tall
girl, with light hair and rosy face, was leaning on Heidi, whose dark
eyes sparkled with keen delight. Mr. Sesemann stopped short, staring
at this vision. Suddenly big tears rushed from his eyes, for this
shape before him recalled sweet memories. Clara's mother had looked
exactly like this fair maiden. Mr. Sesemann at this moment did not
know if he was awake or dreaming.
"Papa, don't you know me any more?" Clara called with beaming eyes.
"Have I changed so much?"
Mr. Sesemann rushed up to her, folding her in his arms. "Yes, you
"have" changed. How is it possible? Is it really true? Is it really
you, Clara?" asked the over-joyed father, embracing her again and
again, and then gazing at her, as she stood tall and firm by his side.
His mother joined them now, for she wanted to see the happiness of her
"What do you say to this, my son? Isn't our surprise finer than
yours?" she greeted him. "But come over to our benefactor now,--I mean
"Yes, indeed, I also must greet our little Heidi," said the gentleman,
shaking Heidi's hand. "Well? Always fresh and happy on the mountain? I
guess I don't need to ask, for no Alpine rose can look more blooming.
Ah, child, what joy this is to me!"
With beaming eyes the child looked at the kind gentleman who had
always been so good to her. Her heart throbbed in sympathy with his
joy. While the two men, who had at last approached each other, were
conversing, grandmama walked over to the grove. There, under the
fir-trees, another surprise awaited her. A beautiful bunch of
wondrously blue gentians stood as if they had grown there.
"How exquisite, how wonderful! What a sight!" she exclaimed, clapping
her hands. "Heidi, come here! Have you brought me those? Oh, they are
The children had joined her, Heidi assuring her that it was another
"Oh grandmama, up on the pasture it looks just like that," Clara
remarked. "Just guess who brought you the flowers?"
At that moment a rustle was heard, and they saw Peter, who was trying
to sneak up behind the trees to avoid the hut. Immediately the old
lady called to him, for she thought that Peter himself had picked the
flowers for her. He must be creeping away out of sheer modesty, the
kind lady thought. To give him his reward, she called:
"Come here, my boy! don't be afraid."
Petrified with fear, Peter stood still. What had gone before had
robbed him of his courage. He thought now that all was over with him.
With his hair standing up on end and his pale face distorted by
anguish, he approached.
"Come straight to me, boy," the old lady encouraged him. "Now tell me,
boy, if you have done that."
In his anxiety, Peter did not see the grandmama's finger that pointed
to the flowers. He only saw the uncle standing near the hut, looking
at him penetratingly, and beside him the policeman, the greatest
horror for him in the world. Trembling in every limb, Peter answered,
"Well, but what are you so frightened about?"
"Because--because it is broken and can never be mended again," Peter
said, his knees tottering under him.
The grandmama now walked over to the hut: "My dear uncle," she asked
kindly, "is this poor lad out of his mind?"
"Not at all," was the reply; "only the boy was the wind which blew
away the wheel-chair. He is expecting the punishment he well
Grandmama was very much surprised, for she vowed that Peter looked far
from wicked. Why should he have destroyed the chair? The uncle told
her that he had noticed many signs of anger in the boy since Clara's
advent on the Alp. He assured her that he had suspected the boy from
"My dear uncle," the old lady said with animation, "we must not punish
him further. We must be just. It was very hard on him when Clara
robbed him of Heidi, who is and was his greatest treasure. When he had
to sit alone day after day, it roused him to a passion which drove him
to this wicked deed. It was rather foolish, but we all get so when we
The lady walked over to the boy again, who was still quivering with
Sitting down on the bench, she began:
"Come, Peter, I'll tell you something. Stop trembling and listen. You
pushed the chair down, to destroy it. You knew very well that it was
wicked and deserved punishment. You tried very hard to conceal it, did
you not? But if somebody thinks that nobody knows about a wicked deed,
he is wrong; God always knows it. As soon as He finds that a man is
trying to conceal an evil he has done, He wakens a little watchman in
his heart, who keeps on pricking the person with a thorn till all his
rest is gone. He keeps on calling to the evildoer: 'Now you'll be
found out! Now your punishment is near!'--His joy has flown, for fear
and terror take its place. Have you not just had such an experience,
Peter nodded, all contrite. He certainly had experienced this.
"You have made a mistake," the grandmama continued, "by thinking that
you would hurt Clara by destroying her chair. It has so happened that
what you have done has been the greatest good for her. She would
probably never have tried to walk, if her chair had been there. If she
should stay here, she might even go up to the pasture every single
day. Do you see, Peter? God can turn a misdeed to the good of the
injured person and bring trouble on the offender. Have you understood
me, Peter? Remember the little watchman when you long to do a wicked
deed again. Will you do that?"
"Yes, I shall," Peter replied, still fearing the policeman, who had
not left yet.
"So now that matter is all settled," said the old lady in conclusion.
"Now tell me if you have a wish, my boy, for I am going to give you
something by which to remember your friends from Frankfurt. What is
it? What would you like to have?"
Peter, lifting his head, stared at the grandmama with round,
astonished eyes. He was confused by this sudden change of prospect.
Being again urged to utter a wish, he saw at last that he was saved
from the power of the terrible man. He felt as if the most crushing
load had fallen off him. He knew now that it was better to confess at
once, when something had gone wrong, so he said: "I have also lost the
Reflecting a while, the grandmama understood and said: "That is right.
Always confess what is wrong, then it can be settled. And now, what
would you like to have?"
So Peter could choose everything in the world he wished. His brain got
dizzy. He saw before him all the wonderful things in the fair in
Mayenfeld. He had often stood there for hours, looking at the pretty
red whistles and the little knives; unfortunately Peter had never
possessed more than half what those objects cost.
He stood thinking, not able to decide, when a bright thought struck
"Ten pennies," said Peter with decision.
"That certainly is not too much," the old lady said with a smile,
taking out of her pocket a big, round thaler, on top of which she
laid twenty pennies. "Now I'll explain this to you. Here you have as
many times ten pennies as there are weeks in the year. You'll be able
to spend one every Sunday through the year."
"All my life?" Peter asked quite innocently.
The grandmama began to laugh so heartily at this that the two men came
over to join her.
Laughingly she said: "You shall have it my boy; I will put it in my
will and then you will do the same, my son. Listen! Peter the goatherd
shall have a ten-penny piece weekly as long as he lives."
Mr. Sesemann nodded.
Peter, looking at his gift, said solemnly: "God be thanked!" Jumping
and bounding, he ran away. His heart was so light that he felt he
A little later the whole party sat round the table holding a merry
feast. After dinner, Clara, who was lively as never before, said to
"Oh, Papa, if you only knew all the things grandfather did for me. It
would take many days to tell you; I shall never forget them all my
life. Oh, if we could please him only half as much as what he did for
"It is my greatest wish, too, dear child," said her father; "I have
been trying to think of something all the time. We have to show our
gratitude in some way."
Accordingly Mr. Sesemann walked over to the old man, and began: "My
dear friend, may I say one word to you. I am sure you believe me when
I tell you that I have not known any real joy for years. What was my
wealth to me when I could not cure my child and make her happy! With
the help of the Lord you have made her well. You have given her a new
life. Please tell me how to show my gratitude to you. I know I shall
never be able to repay you, but what is in my power I shall do. Have
you any request to make? Please let me know."
The uncle had listened quietly and had looked at the happy father.
"Mr. Sesemann, you can be sure that I also am repaid by the great joy
I experience at the recovery of Clara," said the uncle firmly. "I
thank you for your kind offer, Mr. Sesemann. As long as I live I have
enough for me and the child. But I have one wish. If this could be
fulfilled, my life would be free of care."
"Speak, my dear friend," urged Clara's father.
"I am old," continued the uncle, "and shall not live many years. When
I die I cannot leave Heidi anything. The child has no relations except
one, who even might try to take advantage of her if she could. If you
would give me the assurance, Mr. Sesemann, that Heidi will never be
obliged to go into the world and earn her bread, you would amply repay
me for what I was able to do for you and Clara."
"My dear friend, there is no question of that," began Mr. Sesemann;
"the child belongs to us! I promise at once that we shall look after
her so that there will not be any need of her ever earning her bread.
We all know that she is not fashioned for a life among strangers.
Nevertheless, she has made some true friends, and one of them will be
here very shortly. Dr. Classen is just now completing his last
business in Frankfurt. He intends to take your advice and live here.
He has never felt so happy as with you and Heidi. The child will have
two protectors near her, and I hope with God's will, that they may be
spared a long, long time."
"And may it be God's will!" added the grandmama, who with Heidi had
joined them, shaking the uncle tenderly by the hand. Putting her arms
around the child, she said: "Heidi, I want to know if you also have a
"Yes indeed, I have," said Heidi, pleased.
"Tell me what it is, child!"
"I should like to have my bed from Frankfurt with the three high
pillows and the thick, warm cover. Then grandmother will be able to
keep warm and won't have to wear her shawl in bed. Oh, I'll be so
happy when she won't have to lie with her head lower than her heels,
hardly able to breathe!"
Heidi had said all this in one breath, she was so eager.
"Oh dear, I had nearly forgotten what I meant to do. I am so glad you
have reminded me, Heidi. If God sends us happiness we must think of
those who have many privations. I shall telegraph immediately for the
bed, and if Miss Rottenmeier sends it off at once, it can be here in
two days. I hope the poor blind grandmother will sleep better when it
Heidi, in her happiness, could hardly wait to bring the old woman the
good news. Soon it was resolved that everybody should visit the
grandmother, who had been left alone so long. Before starting,
however, Mr. Sesemann revealed his plans. He proposed to travel
through Switzerland with his mother and Clara. He would spend the
night in the village, so as to fetch Clara from the Alm next morning
for the journey. From there they would go first to Ragatz and then
further. The telegram was to be mailed that night.
Clara's feelings were divided, for she was sorry to leave the Alp, but
the prospect of the trip delighted her.
When everything was settled, they all went down, the uncle carrying
Clara, who could not have risked the lengthy walk. All the way down
Heidi told the old lady of her friends in the hut; the cold they had
to bear in winter and the little food they had.
Brigida was just hanging up Peter's shirt to dry, when the whole
company arrived. Rushing into the house, she called to her mother:
"Now they are all going away. Uncle is going, too, carrying the lame
"Oh, must it really be?" sighed the grandmother. "Have you seen
whether they took Heidi away? Oh, if she only could give me her hand
once more! Oh, I long to hear her voice once more!"
The same moment the door was flung open and Heidi held her tight.
"Grandmother, just think. My bed with the three pillows and the thick
cover is coming from Frankfurt. Grandmama has said that it will be
here in two days."
Heidi thought that grandmother would be beside herself with joy, but
the old woman, smiling sadly, said:
"Oh, what a good lady she must be! I know I ought to be glad she is
taking you with her, Heidi, but I don't think I shall survive it
"But nobody has said so," the grandmama, who had overheard those
words, said kindly. Pressing the old woman's hand, she continued: "It
is out of the question. Heidi will stay with you and make you happy.
To see Heidi again, we will come up every year to the Alm, for we have
many reasons to thank the Lord there."
Immediately the face of the grandmother lighted up, and she cried
tears of joy.
"Oh, what wonderful things God is doing for me!" said the grandmother,
deeply touched. "How good people are to trouble themselves about such
a poor old woman as I. Nothing in this world strengthens the belief in
a good Father in Heaven more than this mercy and kindness shown to a
poor, useless little woman, like me."
"My dear grandmother," said Mrs. Sesemann, "before God in Heaven we
are all equally miserable and poor; woe to us, if He should forget
us!--But now we must say good-bye; next year we shall come to see you
just as soon as we come up the Alp. We shall never forget you!" With
that, Mrs. Sesemann shook her hand. It was some time before she was
allowed to leave, however, because the grandmother thanked her over
and over again, and invoked all Heaven's blessings on her and her
Mr. Sesemann and his mother went on down, while Clara was carried up
to spend her last night in the hut.
Next morning, Clara shed hot tears at parting from the beloved place,
where such gladness had been hers. Heidi consoled her with plans for
the coming summer, that was to be even more happy than this one had
been. Mr. Sesemann then arrived, and a few last parting words were
Clara, half crying, suddenly said: "Please give my love to Peter and
the goats, Heidi! Please greet Schwänli especially from me, for she
has helped a great deal in making me well. What could I give her?"
"You can send her salt, Clara. You know how fond she is of that,"
advised little Heidi.
"Oh, I will surely do that," Clara assented. "I'll send her a hundred
pounds of salt as a remembrance from me."
It was time to go now, and Clara was able to ride proudly beside her
father. Standing on the edge of the slope, Heidi waved her hand, her
eyes following Clara till she had disappeared.
* * * * *
The bed has arrived. Grandmother sleeps so well every night now, that
before long she will be stronger than ever. Grandmama has not
forgotten the cold winter on the Alp and has sent a great many warm
covers and shawls to the goatherd's hut. Grandmother can wrap herself
up now and will not have to sit shivering in a corner.
In the village a large building is in progress. The doctor has arrived
and is living at present in his old quarters. He has taken the uncle's
advice and has bought the old ruins that sheltered Heidi and her
grandfather the winter before. He is rebuilding for himself the
portion with the fine apartment already mentioned. The other side is
being prepared for Heidi and her grandfather. The doctor knows that
his friend is an independent man and likes to have his own dwelling.
Bärli and Schwänli, of course, are not forgotten; they will spend the
winter in a good solid stable that is being built for them.
The doctor and the Alm-Uncle become better friends every day. When
they overlook the progress of the building, they generally come to
speak of Heidi. They both look forward to the time when they will be
able to move into the house with their merry charge. They have agreed
to share together the pleasure and responsibility that Heidi brings
them. The uncle's heart is filled with gratitude too deep for any
words when the doctor tells him that he will make ample provision for
the child. Now her grandfather's heart is free of care, for if he is
called away, another father will take care of Heidi and love her in
At the moment when our story closes, Heidi and Peter are sitting in
grandmother's hut. The little girl has so many interesting things to
relate and Peter is trying so hard not to miss anything, that in their
eagerness they are not aware that they are near the happy
grandmother's chair. All summer long they have hardly met, and very
many wonderful things have happened. They are all glad at being
together again, and it is hard to tell who is the happiest of the
group. I think Brigida's face is more radiant than any, for Heidi has
just told her the story of the perpetual ten-penny piece. Finally the
grandmother says: "Heidi, please read me a song of thanksgiving and
praise. I feel that I must praise and thank the Lord for the blessings
He has brought to us all!"
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