UP THE ALM ON A SUMMER EVENING 193
Heidi he stood perfectly still, as if rooted to the spot, and stared at her speechless. Heidi called out: " Good-evening, Peter!" and rushed in among the goats. " Schwanli! Barli! Do you know me still ? "
The goats must have recognized her voice, for they rubbed their heads against her and began to bleat passionately for joy, and Heidi called them all by name, one after the other, and they all ran like wild creatures in confusion and crowded around her. The impatient Distelfinck jumped high into the air and over two other goats, in order to get near her at once, and the timid Schneehopli gave the big Turk a very determined thrust and pushed him aside, so that he stood looking much amazed at the impudence, and raised his beard in the air to show that it was he.
Heidi was beside herself with joy to see all her old companions once more ; she threw her arms around the little affectionate Schneehopli again and again, stroked the violent Distelfinck, and was pushed and jolted hither and thither by the fond, trusting goats until she came quite near to Peter, who remained standing in the same place.
" Come down, Peter, and say good-evening to me ! " Heidi called to him.
"Are you back again?" he finally managed to say in his astonishment; and then he came forward and took Heidi's hand, which she had been offering him for some time, and asked, as he always did when he was returning home at evening: —
"Will you come with me again to-morrow ? "