Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Heidi Story

The Heidi story
(after Johanna Spyri, short version of Heidy Sunier)
Heidi is a novel about the events in the life of a 5-year-old girl in her paternal grandfather's care in the Swiss Alps.
You can download the audiobook for free  HERE or purchase the hardcopy HERE

Heidi was five years old when she was brought up to the alp from her aunt Dete to her grandfather. She had been looking after the child for four years, from the day his mother, her sister Adelheid, died. Since she now has a tempting offer from a distinguished family from Frankfurt, it is now his duty to take care of the child. Heidi could also no longer stay with the old Ursel in Pfäfers Dorf, because she is too old and also blind and the child cannot learn anything from her. The grandfather was angry at the brazen behavior of the Dete, but lovingly took care of the child after they left.

From then on, Heidi was allowed to move to the upper pastures with the goat-peter, which was very good for her physically and emotionally. She couldn't see enough of the variety of alpine flowers, marveled at the miracle when the sun bathed the rocks in the glowing red light in the evening; she loved the goats and felt happy for the first time in her short life.
In winter the Alpöhi often drove with Heidi on the sledge to the Geißenpeterhütte, where he patched up everything that was not riveted and nail-proof. However, with her lively storytelling, Heidi always brought light and joy into the living room and life of the old, blind grandmother of the goat Peter.
After two years the pastor appeared on the alp to warn the grandfather to send the child to school, since he was now seven years old. The Alpöhi said that Heidi was only spoiled in the village because the people there always talked bad about each other. Base Dete appeared on the same day, willing to take Heidi to Frankfurt on the spot. Heidi could bring great joy to a paralyzed daughter as a partner. The grandfather was very angry with this request. Heidi, however, only went along because Dete assured her that she could go back immediately if she didn't like it there.

Heidi expected a completely new world in Frankfurt: instead of mountains, meadows and rustling firs, a large gray city with wide streets and many people. The daughter Klara soon turns out to be a loving friend. Miss Rottenmeier, the governess, on the other hand as a hysterical, child and animal-hostile tyrant. Sebastian, the servant, as a secret helper and friendly colleague of the Rottenmeier, who has a good time when she almost faints with fright over the young kittens - which Heidi brings home. Tinette, as the maid who has nothing but mockery for Heidi. Fortunately, there is the grandmother, who teaches Heidi to read and pray with much love and patience, and Mr. Sesemann, who quickly realizes that Heidi's presence is a blessing for his daughter.

 Klara misses her little friend very much, who owes her two entertaining, amusing years. Heidi, on the other hand, is happy to be back with her grandfather on the alp, to hear the firs rustling, to be able to watch the bird of prey and to be able to visit the blind grandmother, who can now read songs from the hymn book. Every day, Heidi goes up again with goat Peter and the goats, where she quickly gets well. After Heidi has told the grandfather the story of the prodigal son, the latter contemplates and moves with Heidi and the goats to Dörfli, where Heidi can go to school, before the onset of winter.

As a result, she also teaches Peter to read. In contrast to the past, he now sits in the school class every day and in winter is able to read the songs to the blind grandmother if Heidi is prevented from doing so because of the heavy snow.

In spring they go back to the alp with the goats. Every now and then a letter from Klara comes from Frankfurt. She hopes to travel to Switzerland in the summer. The doctor had prescribed her a spa treatment in Bad Ragaz, then she would come to visit Heidi on the alp every day. She is so happy to finally see everything: the mountains, the flowers, the sunset, the goats and of course her dear friend Heidi.

Instead of the Sesemann family, only the doctor comes in late autumn. The only daughter had died a few months ago and since then he has not been able to be happy. Heidi manages to raise the old friend to whom she owes her journey home. She encourages him to pray and quotes the song: "Command your ways and what offends your heart, the most faithful care, the one who directs the sky, the clouds, air and winds, gives ways, run and path that will also find ways because your foot can walk. ”The doctor leaves Switzerland strengthened and comforted and has to tell Klara again and again how nice it is with Heidi on the alp.

Next summer the time will come: the Sesemanns are coming! Klara and the grandmother ride up the alp on horses. Heidi is so happy about her arrival that she has to jump in the air a few times for joy. The goat Peter is less happy. He fears that Heidi will no longer have time for him. Out of anger, he pushes Klara's wheelchair down the mountain, where it remains broken into pieces. Thanks to the grandfather's care, the good air and the goat's milk, Klara becomes stronger every day and learns to stand and walk on her feet. When Mr. Stresemann arrives, he doesn't believe his eyes when Klara walks towards him. Peter is tormented by his guilty conscience for making the wheelchair disappear; but in the end everything will be fine. He even gets wages from the grandmother: one tenth every week,

When Mr. Sesemann asks Alpähi how he can compensate him for the good care of his daughter Klara, the latter says that he has only one wish that Heidi never has to earn her living with strangers in her life. Whereupon Mr. Sessemann assured him that Heidi would settle in the area around Maienfeld in the future. He was so well with the child that he wanted to stay close to Heidi until the end of his life. Now Heidi is asked if she has a wish. She wishes for the blind grandmother the big bed from Frankfurt with the blanket and the pillows so that she never has to freeze again.

Tears flow the next morning when Klara leaves. but Heidi is promised that she will come to her on vacation every summer. Sesemanns keep their word. Peter gets his tithing on time and the big bed from Frankfurt will be there in a few days.

The doctor comes to Dörfli shortly afterwards, where he buys the old building that served Alpöhi as a winter quarters. He also orders the restoration and reconstruction so that he can from now on live in the same house as Heidi. He wants Heidi to look after him in his old days, so he should be his sole heir. With these words, the old grandfather is very happy, because now he knows Heidi is well looked after for all times.

How adorable is this gorgeously illustrated Heidi book?!


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