HEIDI, illustrated - complete online book

The Story Of A Young Orphan In Switzerland

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12                                             HEIDI
Suddenly the child sat down on the ground and in great haste pulled off her shoes and stockings; then she stood up again, took off her thick, red neckerchief, unfastened her Sunday frock, quickly took that off, and began to unhook her everyday dress. This she wore under the other, to save her Aunt Dete the trouble of carrying it. Quick as lightning came off also the every­day frock, and there the child stood in her light under­clothes with delight, stretching her bare arms out of her short chemise sleeves. Then she laid them all in a neat little pile, and jumped and climbed after the goats by Peter's side, as easily as any in the whole company.
Peter had not noticed what the child was doing while she remained behind. But when she came run­ning after him in this new costume a grin began to spread over his face, and when he looked back and saw the little pile of clothes lying on the ground the grin grew still broader and his mouth reached almost from ear to ear; but he said nothing.
The child, feeling so free and light, began to talk with Peter, and he had all sorts of questions to answer, for she wanted to know how many goats he had, where he was going with them, and what he would do when he reached there.
Finally the children with the goats approached the hut and came in sight of Aunt Dete. She had hardly caught a glimpse of the group climbing up the moun­tain side when she screamed out : —
"Heidi, what have you been doing? What is the
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