HEIDI, illustrated - complete online book

The Story Of A Young Orphan In Switzerland

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276                                         HEIDI
down at the table and began to read. His mother sat down beside him to listen; after each verse she said in amazement : —
" Who could have thought it ? "
His grandmother followed one verse after another attentively, but said nothing to it.
The day after this occurrence it happened that Peter's class had a reading lesson. When Peter's turn came the teacher said : —
" Peter, must I pass by you again, as usual, or will you once more — I will not say read, I will say try to stammer through a line ?''
Peter began and read three lines one after another without stopping.
The teacher laid his book aside. He looked at Peter in dumb astonishment, as if he had never seen anything like it before. At last he said : —
" Peter, a miracle has happened to you! Long as I have worked over you with inexpressible patience you have never been able to grasp even the alphabet. Now that I have, although unwillingly, given up work­ing over you as a useless task, it happens that you come out and have learned, not only the alphabet, but also to read properly, as well as quite clearly. Who has been able to work such a miracle in our time, Peter?"
" Heidi," was the reply.
In the greatest surprise the teacher looked toward Heidi, who was sitting quite innocently in her seat, so that there was nothing extraordinary in her appearance He continued : —
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