HEIDI, illustrated - complete online book

The Story Of A Young Orphan In Switzerland

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THE ALM-UNCLE                                    11
ing, and come back from Dorfli late in the evening; so in order to play with the children as long as possible, he spent only enough time at home to swallow his bread and milk.
His father, who was also called Peter the goatherd, because he had followed the same calling in his earlier days, had met with an accident some years before while felling trees. His mother, whose real name was Bri-gitta, was called by every one, for consistency's sake, " goatherd Peter's wife," and the blind grandmother was known by old and young, far and wide, simply by the name of Grandmother.
Dete waited full ten minutes, looking around in every direction for a glimpse of the children with the goats; but as they were nowhere in sight, she climbed a little higher, where she could have a better view of the Aim down to the foot. Here she peered first this way and then that, showing signs of increasing impatience both in her face and in her movements.
Meanwhile the children were coming along by a roundabout way. Peter knew many spots where there were all sorts of good shrubs and bushes for his goats to nibble; so he frequently wandered from the path with his flock. At first the child in her heavy garb climbed after them with great difficulty, panting with heat and discomfort and straining every nerve. She said not a word, but gazed first at Peter, who jumped about without any difficulty in his bare feet and light trousers, then at the goats with their small, slender legs climbing still more easily over bushes and stones and steep crags.
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