TWO VISITS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES 67
piece of green ground had grown under the trees. Then she would immediately run back to look again, for she could not wait until everything should be green once more, and the lovely summer with its verdure and bloom return to the mountain.
One sunny March morning, when Heidi was running back and forth in this way, and was jumping over the threshold for about the tenth time, she nearly fell backwards into the house from fright; for suddenly there appeared before her an old man all in black, who looked at her very earnestly. But when he saw how startled she was, he said kindly : —
" You must not be afraid of me; I love children. Give me your hand! You must be Heidi; where is your grandfather ?"
" He is sitting at the table, carving round spoons out of wood," replied Heidi, opening the door.
It was the old pastor from Dorfli, who had known the uncle well years before, when he still lived in the valley and was one of his neighbors. He stepped into the hut, went up to the old man, who was bending over his wood-carving, and said : —
" Good-morning, neighbor ! "
The grandfather looked up in surprise; the next instant he rose and replied: —
"Good-morning, pastor." Then he offered him his stool, saying: " If the pastor does not object to a wooden seat, here is one."
The pastor sat down. After a moment he said :~ " I have not seen you for a long time, neighbor."