Heidi is a children's novel of twenty-three chapters by the Swiss author Johanna Spyri. It was originally published in German in two volumes. The first volume, Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre (translated as Heidi: Her Years of Wandering and Learning), was published in 1880. The second volume Heidi kann brauchen was es gelernt hat (translated as Heidi: How She Used What She Learned) was published in 1881. Heidi has been translated into more than fifty languages. It is one of the best selling books ever written, having sold more than fifty million copies.
The novel's title character and protagonist is a Swiss orphan who is placed in the care of her Aunt Dete. When Dete accepts the offer of a better job in the large German city of Frankfurt, she decides not to take Heidi with her. The 5 year-old Heidi is left in the care of her only other living relative, her grandfather. Heidi's grandfather is a recluse who lives on the side of a mountain above a small village. Most people shun him and are afraid of him. Terrible rumors circulate about him. In spite of his very bad reputation, he and Heidi take an almost immediate liking to each other. Heidi loves her life on the mountain. She also befriends a boy named Peter, who works as a goatherd, and Peter's blind grandmother. After a few years, Dete returns. Against the wishes of both Heidi and her grandfather, Heidi is taken to Frankfurt to be the companion to Clara, a girl from a very wealthy family who is confined to a wheelchair. Although she and Clara soon become great friends and although she also gets on well with Clara's father and grandmother, Heidi is extremely unhappy in Frankfurt. She is greatly relieved when a doctor orders that she be sent home to her grandfather immediately. Some time later, Clara travels to Switzerland to visit Heidi. Peter resents Clara's presence and is jealous of the amount of time Heidi spends with her. His anger leads him to push Clara's empty wheelchair down a mountain and destroy it. Peter's spiteful action turns out to have unintended positive consequences.
There have been numerous adaptations of Heidi to other media.
Readers should be aware that, although there are relatively few exclusively Christian references in the novel, religion is an important theme of Johanna Spyri's Heidi. Parents who choose to leave out all the religious references in the novel while reading it aloud to their children are likely to find that a difficult task if they do not want the plot to suffer as a result of the changes they make. The religious aspect is usually downplayed in adaptations and simplified retellings of the novel and is sometimes removed from them entirely.
In the Swiss town of Domleschg live two brothers from a wealthy family. The older brother spends the entire family fortune on drinking and gambling, causing his parents to die of grief. The younger brother, although he is not responsible for his parents' deaths, runs away to Italy and becomes a soldier in Naples. Some fifteen years later, he comes back to Domleschg with a child, his son Tobias. He tries to find a relative who will take care of the child but everyone he asks refuses. The man's reputation is tarnished by association with his older brother. It is also assumed that he must have left Naples because of some great scandal, probably as a result of having murdered someone. The man and his son leave Domleschg forever and go to live on a mountain above the small village of Dorfli. Most people shun the man and he and his son live in near isolation. The mother of the girls Dete and Adelheid insist that they call the man Uncle because he is a distant relative of theirs. Since the father of Dete and Adelheid is related to almost everyone in Dorfli, everyone in the village calls the man Uncle. Since he lives on an alm, he comes to be known as Alm-Uncle.
Tobias trains as a carpenter. He marries Adelheid and they have one daughter, who is also named Adelheid but is always called Heidi. When Heidi is less than a year old, a beam falls on Tobias while he is working and kills him. Adelheid becomes sick with grief and dies two months later. After Tobias' death, Alm-Uncle lives in greater seclusion than before and he is hardly ever seen. When he is seen, the sight of the old man with his long beard, bushy eyebrows and stick frightens most people,
The infant Heidi is cared for by her grandmother until the old woman dies some three years later. The girl is then placed in the care of her late mother's sister Dete. Dete works as a maid in a hotel in the spa town of Ragatz. She pays an old woman named Ursula to look after Heidi most of the time. Ursula is profoundly deaf and Heidi has to stay near to her at all times. For that reason, she spends almost all of her time indoors and hardly ever goes out. A family from Frankfurt stays at the hotel in Ragatz. They are impressed by Dete and ask her to come to the city and be their servant. Dete accepts the job offer but does not want to take Heidi with her. She decides to leave the girl with her only other living relative, her grandfather Alm-Uncle.
On a hot day in June, Dete leads the 5 year-old Heidi towards Alm-Uncle's house on the mountain above Dorfli. Heidi is made to wear all the clothes she has to save Dete from carrying them. Dete stops to talk to an old friend. Heidi sees a boy leading some goats up a mountain. The boy's name is Peter and he works as a goatherd. Each morning, he takes the goats of all the people of Dorfli and leads them high up into the mountains to eat fresh grass. Each evening, he returns the goats to their owners. Heidi wants to follow Peter but all of the clothes that she is wearing make that difficult. She takes off most of her clothes and leaves them in a pile. After some time, Dete notices that Heidi is missing. She is understandably angry when she sees the girl without most of her clothes. She makes Peter carry the clothes as they continue on their journey.
Alm-Uncle is not happy to see his visitors. He tells Peter to take away his two goats and the boy leaves. Alm-Uncle does not want to take care of Heidi. He asks what will happen when the girl cries because she misses Dete. Dete replies that the girl is no longer her problem. She adds that she is sure that the old man will not trouble his already guilty conscience any further by harming the girl. Alm-Uncle shouts at Dete to leave and never come back.
Heidi looks around the outside of all of her grandfather's property with interest. The old man immediately realizes that the child is highly intelligent. Heidi asks her grandfather to see inside his small house. The house's furniture consists of one table, one chair, one bed and one three-legged stool. One closet built into the wall contains all of the old man's clothes, food and utensils. Heidi asks where she will sleep. The old man says that she can sleep anywhere she likes. Heidi decides to sleep in the hayloft. Alm-Uncle gives her a coarse cloth for a sheet and a sack for a blanket. Alm-Uncle toasts some cheese. Heidi lays the table without being asked. She sits on the three-legged stool even though it is too low to allow her to reach the table. After eating, Heidi's grandfather makes a new larger stool for the girl. In the evening, Peter returns with Alm-Uncle's two goats. The old man tells Heidi that the goats' names are Little Swan and Little Bear. At night, it is very windy. Heidi's grandfather is worried that she will be frightened by the noise of the wind. He climbs up a ladder to look in the window of the hayloft. He sees Heidi sleeping peacefully with a look of happiness on her face.
The following morning, Heidi's grandfather tells her that she can join Peter when he leads the goats up the mountain. He gives Peter a small bowl from which Heidi can drink goat's milk and large pieces of bread and cheese for Heidi's lunch. They are much bigger than the pieces of bread and cheese that Peter has for his own lunch. The old man tells Peter to keep an eye on the girl. Peter finds it difficult to watch Heidi as well as the goats. Heidi is fascinated by the many different flowers of different colors that she can see. Heidi picking flowers delays Peter's progress up the mountain. Eventually, Peter has to tell Heidi that there will be no flowers to pick the next day if she picks them all now. That sounds reasonable to Heidi and she stops picking them. At lunch, Heidi does not hesitate to offer some of her large piece of bread to Peter. He hesitates to take it but only because he thinks at first that Heidi is joking.
Heidi asks Peter the names of all of the goats. He is able to name them all without any difficulty. There is a large aggressive goat named Turk. All of the other goats are afraid of Turk, apart from one named Greenfinch. Heidi asks why a small white goat named Snowflake is bleating sadly. Peter explains that she misses her mother who was recently sold. Heidi promises Snowflake that she will look after her. Peter needs Heidi's help to stop the goat Greenfinch from falling down a crag. After the goat is rescued, Peter goes to beat the animal with his stick. Heidi pleads with him not to hurt the goat. She says that she will give Peter all of her bread and cheese every day if he does not hit Greenfinch. Peter accepts the bargain.
Heidi asks Peter some questions which he cannot answer. She asks him why the large bird of prey that they see makes a croaking sound, what the names of the mountains are and why the mountains turn red and pink when the evening comes. Later that evening, Heidi's grandfather tells her the names of the mountains and explains that the setting sun makes them look red and pink. He says that when the bird croaks it is mocking the people in the village who live close together and like to gossip. According to Alm-Uncle, the bird is saying that the people would be better off if they lived apart.
Every day in the summer, Heidi goes up the mountain with Peter and the goats. When autumn comes, there are some days when Heidi's grandfather will not allow her to go out because the wind is too strong. In the winter, Peter goes to school. Although he is almost 12 years-old, he has not yet learned how to read. Although he does not lead the goats up the mountain in the winter, he continues to visit Heidi in her grandfather's house. He invites Heidi to come to his house, saying that his grandmother would like to meet her. Each day after that, Heidi asks her grandfather if she can see Peter's grandmother that day. On the fourth day, Alm-Uncle agrees to take Heidi to Peter's house lower down the mountain. He wraps Heidi in the sack that she uses as a blanket and they go down the mountain on a sled. When they arrive at Peter's house, Heidi's grandfather tells her to leave when it starts to get dark.
Peter's widowed mother and grandmother find it hard to believe that Heidi's grandfather really brought her down the mountain on a sled. Although Peter has told them stories about how kind Alm-Uncle is to Heidi, the two women did not believe them. Heidi notices that a shutter needs repairing and says that her grandfather could fix it quickly. Peter's grandmother says that there are many other parts of the house that need repairing too. She says that the noise that the house makes when the wind rattles it keeps her awake at night and that she does not think the house is safe. Heidi does not really understand that Peter's grandmother is blind. She is certain that her grandfather could do something to make the old woman see the light again. When Peter comes home from school, his grandmother laments the fact that he is not yet able to read and cannot read her a hymn from her old prayer book.
When it gets dark, Heidi announces that she has to leave. Peter's mother worries that the girl is not wearing warm enough clothes. She tells Peter to go with her up the mountain. Heidi and Peter have not gone far when Alm-Uncle appears. He wraps Heidi in her blanket again and carries her home.
At home, Heidi tells her grandfather about the many things that need fixing in Peter's house. The next day, Heidi and her grandfather go down the mountain to Peter's house again. Alm-Uncle takes some tools with him. Heidi goes inside the house. Her grandfather stays outside but carries out some repairs to the house. Peter's grandmother wants Alm-Uncle to come inside the house so that she can thank him but he refuses. Heidi and her grandfather go to Peter's house every day in the winter. Alm-Uncle always takes his tools with him and always carries out some repairs. The house becomes safe and quiet. Peter's grandmother is very grateful to Alm-Uncle for the work he did.
Heidi continues to spend every day of her summers with Peter on the mountain and every day of her winters with Peter's grandmother. Heidi is very sad when she finally understands that Peter's grandmother will never see again. The old woman tries to cheer Heidi up by telling the girl how much happiness she has brought into her life.
When Heidi is 8 years-old, her grandfather begins to receive messages from the local schoolmaster, saying that Heidi should have started school the previous winter. Alm-Uncle replies that the schoolmaster will find him at home if he wants to talk to him. The local clergyman, who had once been Alm-Uncle's neighbor in Dorfli, is sent to speak to the old man on the schoolmaster's behalf. Alm-Uncle says that he would prefer Heidi to grow up among the goats and birds rather than among people so that she will not learn anything evil. He also says that it would not be safe for Heidi to go to and from school in the winter. He reminds the clergyman that Heidi's mother Adelheid was prone to fits and sleepwalking. Alm-Uncle worries that the same thing will happen to Heidi if she has to cope with too many problems. The clergyman agrees that it would not be safe for Heidi to go to and from school in winter. He says that Alm-Uncle should leave the mountain and go back to living among the people of Dorfli. Although Alm-Uncle knows that the clergyman wants the best for him, he politely but firmly refuses to leave his home or send Heidi to school.
A few days later, Heidi's Aunt Dete returns. She announces that she wants to take Heidi to Frankfurt. She says that some extremely wealthy relatives of her employers are looking for a companion for the daughter of the house, a sickly girl who is confined to a wheelchair. Dete says that they have agreed to take Heidi. She adds that Heidi will have a fine life in Frankfurt and that, since the sickly girl may die, there is a possibility that Heidi will be adopted into the wealthy family. Alm-Uncle refuses to let Heidi go but Dete takes her anyway. She tells the child that she will be able to go back home quickly if she does not like Frankfurt.
Dete and Heidi pass Peter's house. Dete will not allow Heidi to go inside. Peter sees them and tells his grandmother that Heidi is being taken away. The old woman shouts out to Heidi not to go. Dete tells Heidi that she can get a nice present for Peter's grandmother in Frankfurt and then come home quickly. Dete suggests that Heidi could get a soft white bread roll for the old woman. When she hears this, Heidi is happy to go on with her journey as fast as possible. Many people in Dorfli see her happily and quickly passing through the village.
After Heidi has gone, Alm-Uncle's trips to Dorfli become less frequent and he looks more fierce than ever before. Most people in Dorfli think that Heidi passed so rapidly through the village because she was running away from her cruel grandfather. Only Peter's grandmother refuses to say anything bad about Alm-Uncle. She remains grateful to him because of how well he fixed her house. Without Heidi to visit her, Peter's grandfather becomes extremely sad. She hopes that she will not die before Heidi returns.
The house to which Dete takes Heidi in Frankfurt belongs to Herr Sesemann. Herr Sesemann's wife died several years earlier and he is often away on business. In Herr Sesemann's absence, the house is run by the housekeeper Fraulein Rottenmeier. Herr Sesemann insists, however, on his invalid daughter Clara having some say in the running of the house and does not want anything ever to be done which goes against Clara's wishes. There are several servants in the house, including the maid Tinette and the butler Sebastian.
Fraulein Rottenmeier is not impressed when she first sees Heidi dressed in a plain wool dress, an old shawl and an old straw hat that is bent out of shape. When the girl says that her name is Heidi, Fraulein Rottenmeier is shocked and says that is not a real name. Dete explains that the girl's real name is Adelheid. Fraulein Rottenmeier always calls the girl Adelheid from then on. Fraulein Rottenmeier also notices that Heidi is considerably younger than the 12 year-old Clara. Dete lies when she says that she thinks Heidi is about ten. Heidi truthfully says that she is eight. Fraulein Rottenmeier asks Heidi about her education. Heidi tells her that she has never been to school and does not know how to read. Fraulein Rottenmeier does not think that Heidi will make a suitable companion for Clara. Dete leaves before Fraulein Rottenmeier can ask her any more questions or make her take the child away. Clara, however, takes an instant liking to Heidi. She thinks that it will be fun to watch her tutor try to teach Heidi to read.
Heidi takes an instant liking to Sebastian because he reminds her of Peter. Fraulein Rottenmeier does not like the way that Heidi speaks to Sebastian, thinking that it is too familiar. At dinner, Heidi sees a white bread roll next to her plate. Remembering what Dete said about getting Peter's grandmother a soft white bread roll as a present, Heidi puts it in her pocket. Fraulein Rottenmeier can see that Heidi has never learned proper table manners. She begins to give a long lecture on the proper behavior that is expected in Herr Sesemann's house. She does not notice that Heidi, who has had a long day, falls asleep several minutes before the lecture is finished.
When she wakes up in her bedroom the following morning, Heidi finds that she is unable to open the heavy curtains. Passing underneath the curtains, she looks out of the window and is disappointed to find that she can only see walls and more windows. She tries to open the window but finds that she cannot. Tinette tells Heidi that breakfast is ready. Heidi does not understand that she is supposed to go to the dining room to eat, until Fraulein Rottenmeier makes it plain to her. At breakfast, Clara tells Heidi that Sebastian will be able to open a window for her if she asks him to do so.
Clara's tutor arrives. Fraulein Rottenmeier tells him about the arrival of the companion she requested for Clara. She tells the tutor that she thinks Heidi is completely unsuitable as a companion for Clara. She adds that the illiterate Swiss girl could be sent away if the tutor said that she were so far behind in her studies that it would be harmful to Clara's education if the two of them continued to have lessons together. The tutor says that he is quite happy to teach Heidi the alphabet and that he will make up his own mind about the girl. He adds that, if the girl is backwards in some ways, she is likely to be advanced in others.
Heidi and Clara's first lesson together ends abruptly. Heidi hears a noise like the sound of the wind in the fir trees outside her grandfather's house. She immediately rushes outside to see the trees. Unknown to Heidi, the noise is really the sound of a passing carriage. In her haste to leave the room, Heidi pulls the tablecloth off the table. It falls on the floor, taking textbooks, exercise books and ink with it. The tutor declares that he can do no more that day.
In the afternoon, Clara has to rest. Heidi is told that she can amuse herself during that time. She asks Sebastian to open a window for her. She is disappointed to find that she can still see nothing but walls and windows. She asks where she can go to get a better view. Sebastian points out a church tower with a gold ball on top of it and says that she could see for a great distance from there. Heidi rushes out of the house and heads towards the tower. She finds that it is much further away than it looked from the house window. Heidi soon gets lost. Most of the people on the street look too busy for Heidi to ask them directions. On the corner of a street, Heidi sees a boy with a barrel organ and a tortoise. The boy does not know the way to the church with a gold ball on its tower. He does, however, know the way to another church with a tall tower. He agrees to take Heidi there if she pays him. Heidi says that she does not have any money but Clara will pay him later.
At the church, the old verger reluctantly agrees to take Heidi to the top of the tower. Heidi is disappointed to find that she can see nothing but roofs. The cat, which is kept in the tower to catch mice, has recently had several kittens. The verger, who is keen to get rid of the kittens, tells Heidi that she can take them. Heidi agrees to take all the kittens but is unable to carry them all. She puts two kittens in her pockets and tells the verger to deliver the rest of them to Clara at Herr Sesemann's house later. The boy takes Heidi back to Herr Sesemann's house. Sebastian opens the door. He does not see the boy and shuts the door in his face. Sebastian tells Heidi to go into the dining room at once because Fraulein Rottenemier wants to speak to her.
Fraulein Rottenmeier is angry with Heidi for having left the house without asking permission and without having told anybody where she was going. She becomes even more angry when she thinks that Heidi is making fun of her by making meowing noises while she is being scolded. Heidi points out that the meowing noises are being made by the two kittens she brought into the room. Fraulein Rottenmeier hates kittens. She leaves the room after she has ordered Tinette and Sebastian to find the animals and get rid of them. Sebastian agrees to let Clara and Heidi keep the kittens. He says that he will make a bed for the little cats in a secret place where Fraulein Rottenmeier will never find them.
The following day, the boy with the barrel organ comes back to the house. When Sebastian opens the door, the boy tells him that Clara owes him money. At first, Sebastian tries to shoo the boy away. When the boy gives a description of the girl that he met in the street the previous day, Sebastian realizes that he is talking about Heidi. He tells the boy to go into the study, where Clara and Heidi are having their lesson with their tutor, and to start playing his barrel organ when he goes in. The boy does as Sebastian tells him. Fraulein Rottenmeier goes into the room when she hears the music. She is horrified when she sees the boy's tortoise crawling across the floor. She orders that the boy and the tortoise be removed at once. Sebastian pays the boy for helping Heidi and for the entertainment that he provided.
Shortly afterwards, a man arrives carrying a basket which he says is for Clara. The basket is placed in the study. The kittens come out of it and begin to run around the room. Fraulein Rottenmeier orders Sebastian and Tinette to remove the kittens. The two servants take the animals to the same secret place where the other two kittens are already hidden.
When Fraulein Rottenmeier finds out that Heidi is behind the two disturbances that happened that day, she threatens to punish the girl by locking her in a cellar full of rats and beetles. Clara, however, will not allow that and Fraulein Rottenmeier has to bow to her wishes. Clara also points out that her father will be returning home in a few days.
The next few days pass quietly but Heidi is not happy. The only joy that she finds each day is being able to take two bread rolls, one at lunch and one at dinner, as a present for Peter's grandmother. Heidi cannot learn the alphabet. Since she cannot leave the house, Heidi talks to Clara in the afternoon. She tells her all about her life on the mountain, which only makes her feel more homesick. To try to cheer her up, Clara tells Heidi that she may be able to return home soon. One day, Heidi can stand it no longer and makes up her mind to go home. She wraps up the bread rolls that she has saved in her old red shawl and puts on her battered old straw hat. Fraulein Rottenmeier sees her. She is shocked at Heidi's attempt to leave, calling her ungrateful for wanting to do so, and also at her shabby old clothes. Sebastian takes Heidi back to her room. He tries to comfort her by saying that she can see the kittens later.
Concerned by the state of Heidi's shabby old clothes, Fraulein Rottenmeier gets Clara to agree to give Heidi some of hers. Fraulein Rottenmeier goes to Heidi's closet to see which of her clothes can be kept and which have to be thrown out. To her horror, she finds the bread rolls which Heidi kept for Peter's grandmother. Fraulein Rottenmeier orders Tinette to throw away the rolls and Heidi's misshapen old straw hat. Clara promises Heidi that, when she does go home, she can take as many fresh bread rolls as she likes for Peter's grandmother. Sebastian takes the old straw hat from Tinette and returns it to Heidi. The girl tries to keep the hat hidden in her closet,
When Herr Sesemann finally returns home, he greets Heidi warmly. He is told by Heidi and Clara that they are good friends and never quarrel. Fraulein Rottenmeier talks vaguely to Herr Sesemann about the troubles that Heidi has caused and about the animals that she has brought into the house. She says that she thinks Heidi may not be in her right mind. The tutor, however, refuses to say anything bad about Heidi. Wishing to speak to Clara alone, Herr Sesemann asks Heidi to fetch him some fresh water. When Heidi has gone, Clara tells her father all about the tortoise and the kittens. She says that she is certain that Heidi is in her right mind and that she has been much happier since the Swiss girl came to live with her.
Heidi returns with Herr Seseman's water. She explains that she went to a pump in the street to get it. She says that she met a man at the pump who sent greetings to Herr Sesemann. From the description that Heidi gives of the man, Herr Sesemann and Clara know that it was their friend the doctor.
Herr Sesemann tells Fraulein Rottenmeier that he has no intention of sending Heidi away. He tells Fraulein Rottenmeier not to worry if she is having difficulty coping with the girl because his mother will be coming for an extended visit soon. Two weeks later, Herr Sesemann leaves on business again. Shortly afterwards, a letter from his mother arrives which says that she will be coming soon. Clara talks excitedly about her "grandmamma". Heidi begins to call the woman "grandmamma" too. Fraulein Rottenmeier takes Heidi aside and tells her that she must call Frau Sesemann "madam". When Heidi is introduced to the lady, she calls her "Frau Madam". This amuses the woman, who says she can call her "grandmamma". Clara's grandmother tells the child that she will call her Heidi, not Adelheid.
The following afternoon, while Clara is asleep, Frau Sessemann asks Fraulein Rottenmeier where Heidi is. She is saddened to find out that she is in her room on her own. Frau Sesemann says that she wants to see Heidi and that she has some books which she would like to show her. Fraulein Rottenmeier says there would be no point in doing that because Heidi cannot read. Frau Sesemann asks for Heidi to be sent to her anyway, saying that the girl can look at the pictures in the books. Heidi is reminded of her home when she sees a picture of a young shepherd in one of the books. she begins to cry. Frau Sesemann tries to comfort Heidi. She tells her that there is a beautiful story attached to the picture of the shepherd which she will tell the girl later. Frau Sesemann asks Heidi how her lessons are going. She answers that she has not learned to read but she already knew that would not be able to because Peter said that learning to read was impossible. Frau Sesemann tells Heidi that she should not believe everything that Peter says and that she can learn to read just like many other children do. She adds that, when Heidi has learned to read, she can have the book with the picture of a shepherd in it as a present.
Heidi comes to understand that she cannot leave any time she wants and that she may have to stay in Frankfurt forever. She always dreams that she is back home with her grandfather and usually cries when she wakes up and finds that she is still in Frankfurt. She does not tell anyone about this because she does not want to be called ungrateful again. One morning at breakfast, Frau Sesemann can see that Heidi has been crying. Heidi refuses to tell Frau Sesemann what has been making her sad and says that she cannot tell Clara about it either. Frau Sesemann tells Heidi that, if she cannot talk to anybody else, she can talk to God. That day, Heidi begins earnestly praying for God to return her to her grandfather.
A week later, the tutor excitedly tells Frau Sesemann that Heidi has suddenly and unexpectedly learned to read and that she can now read very well. Frau Sesemann hears Heidi reading to Clara. She gives the girl the book that she promised her that evening. Reading becomes Heidi's chief pleasure in life. She reads to herself and she reads aloud to Clara and Frau Sesemann. There are many stories in the book which Frau Sesemann gave Heidi but the one which accompanies the picture of the shepherd is Heidi's favorite.
Frau Sesemann can see that Heidi is still unhappy. She asks Heidi if she has told her troubles to God. Heidi says that she has but she has stopped praying because her prayers have not been answered. Frau Sesemann tells Heidi to keep praying. She says that God had a reason for not granting Heidi's prayers straight away and that, provided that Heidi does not forget God, her prayers will be answered when the time is right.
When Frau Sesemann leaves, Heidi becomes extremely sad once again. She is barely able to eat anything. Heidi sometimes goes out with Clara but, because Clara cannot go very far, Heidi only sees streets and houses. She never sees grass, trees or flowers and it saddens her to read about them. This angers Fraulein Rottenmeier, who forbids Heidi to cry while she is reading. Heidi worries that Peter's grandmother and her own grandfather might die while she is away from them.
One morning, the front doors of the house are found wide open. It is assumed at first that some thief crept into the house and left through the front doors. Nothing is found to have been taken, however. After that, the doors are always locked and bolted at night but are always found wide open in the morning. Fraulein Rottenmeier and all the servants become very nervous. They believe that there is a ghost in the house. Fraulein Rottenmeier gets Sebastian and another servant named Johann to keep watch one night. At one o'clock in the morning, a sudden gust of wind blows out all the candles. Johann says that he saw a white figure at the top of the stairs. Fraulein Rottenemeier writes to Herr Sesemann and his mother about the ghost. They are both unconcerned about it and are not prepared to hurry back to Frankfurt. Fraulein Rottenmeier then tells Heidi and Clara about the ghost, knowing that Clara would be very distressed by the news and would want her father to come home. Fraulein Rottenmeier is then able to write to Herr Sesemann again. Herr Sesemann agrees to come back to Frankfurt.
Herr Sesemann and his friend the doctor keep watch at night. At one o'clock in the morning, they hear the front door being opened. In the moonlight, they see a white figure, who is revealed to be Heidi. Heidi is asked what she is doing and is unable to answer. The doctor realizes that Heidi is unwell. He takes her up to her bedroom. He asks her if she had been dreaming. Heidi says that she had been having the same dream that she has every night. She was dreaming that she was in her grandfather's house at night. In her dream, she heard the wind in the trees and went to open the door to see the stars. The doctor asks Heidi if she is happy in Frankfurt. She says that she is but the doctor can see that she is not. He asks her if she has any pains. She says that the only pain she has is from wanting to cry but not being able to because it is forbidden. The doctor asks Heidi about her old home in the mountains. She says that it is beautiful and then begins to cry uncontrollably. The doctor tells Herr Sesemann that the sleepwalking Heidi was the ghost. He goes on to say that Heidi's severe homesickness has caused her to stop eating and become dangerously thin, putting her life at risk. The only remedy is to send Heidi home to her grandfather at once. Herr Sesemann reluctantly agrees to return Heidi to Switzerland.
Early the following morning, Herr Sesemann wakes up Fraulein Rottenmeier and all the servants. He tells them to prepare for Heidi's departure that day. Heidi's Aunt Dete is sent for. It is obvious to Herr Sesemann that Dete does not want to accompany Heidi back to Alm-Uncle's house and she is sent away again. Sebastian is told to accompany Heidi on her train journey home. Clara is sad when she hears that Heidi is leaving. She tries to suggest other ways that Heidi could be helped instead. Herr Sesemann insists that sending Heidi home is the only way that they can help her. He tells Clara that they can travel to Switzerland and visit Heidi later. Clara then insists on watching Heidi's trunk being packed so that she can choose which of her own clothes be given to Heidi.
Tinette dresses Heidi in her best clothes but does not speak to her. Herr Sesemann himself is the first person to tell Heidi that she is going home. Heidi rushes up to Clara's bedroom, she sees her trunk already packed. Clara gives Heidi a basket containing twelve soft white bread rolls as a present for Peter's grandmother. Heidi guesses that the book which she was given by Frau Sesemann, her old red shawl and her old straw hat have not been packed. She goes to her bedroom to get them and puts them in the basket with the bread rolls. Fraulein Rottenmeier tries to stop Heidi from taking the old shawl and hat with her but Herr Sesemann says she can take them.
The train arrives in Maienfeld, the nearest station to Heidi's home. Sebastian is relieved to find a man on a cart who will take Heidi to Dorfli. Heidi says that she can make her own way from Dorfli to her grandfather's house. Sebastian gives Heidi a letter for her grandfather and a bundle which he tells her not to lose. The cart driver is the miller from Dorfli. He has never seen Heidi before but he knows who she is. He wonders why she has come back. Heidi tells him that she could have stayed in Frankfurt but that she would rather be with her grandfather than anywhere else in the world. The cart stops in Dorfli. Heidi tells the miller that her grandfather will send for her trunk later. A crowd of people gather around Heidi. She pushes her way through them, looking somewhat frightened. They assume that she is frightened because she has to go back to live with her wicked grandfather. The miller says that this is not the case and that Heidi is going back to her grandfather's house by choice. That night, all the people in Dorfli talk about how Heidi chose to go back to live with the frightening old Alm-Uncle.
On the way up the mountain, Heidi passes Peter's house. Heidi goes inside. She is delighted to see Peter's grandmother still alive. She gives the old woman the twelve soft white bread rolls. Peter's mother comes in. She admires Heidi's dress and hat with a feather in it. Worried that her grandfather will not recognize her, Heidi takes off her dress, leaving only her petticoat. She puts on her red shawl and old straw hat. She offers her new hat to Peter's mother. Peter's mother refuses to take the hat but Heidi leaves it behind anyway.
Heidi arrives at her grandfather's house as the sun is setting. Alm-Uncle cries with joy when he sees Heidi again. He is, however, surprised to see her not looking like a fine young lady and wonders if she was made to leave Frankfurt. Heidi hands her grandfather the letter from Herr Sesemann and the bundle. Alm-Uncle tells Heidi that the bundle contains money for her and that she can spend it on clothes. When Heidi says that she has lots of new clothes already, Alm-Uncle tells her to put the money aside because she may need it later.
Peter comes down the mountain. He is pleased to see Heidi again, as are Little Swan, Little Bear, Greenfinch, Snowflake and the other goats. Peter has a lot of difficulty getting the goats to follow him instead of Heidi.
That night, Heidi sleeps on a bed of fresh hay. Ten times, Alm-Uncle climbs up the ladder to look in the window of the hayloft to see if Heidi is sleeping soundly. Each time, he sees that she is.
The following day, a Saturday, Heidi goes to see Peter's grandmother again. The old woman talks about how much she enjoyed eating some of the soft white bread which Heidi gave her and says that she is already starting to feel stronger. Peter's mother says that it is unfortunate that they cannot afford to eat like that every day. Heidi says that she has enough money to pay the baker in Dorfli to make one white bread roll a day for Peter's grandmother and two on Sunday. Peter's mother tells Heidi that her grandfather will have to decide how she is to spend her money. Heidi tells Peter's grandmother that she is now able to read. She brings the old woman a lot of joy by reading her one of the hymn's from her prayer book.
Heidi tells her grandfather how she plans to spend her money on Peter's grandmother. He tries to dissuade her but she insists. Heidi says that God was right not to send her home straight away. If she had gone home straight away, she would only have had a few bread rolls for Peter's grandmother and would not have been able to read. Heidi says that she will continue to pray every day and will not forget God because those who do suffer. Alm-Uncle agrees that this is true and asks if those who forget God can be forgiven. Heidi says that they can. She reads her grandfather her favorite story from the book that Frau Sesemann gave her, it is the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son. That night, Alm-Uncle prays for the first time in many years.
The following day, a Sunday, Heidi's grandfather announces that they are going to church. The arrival of Alm-Uncle and his granddaughter causes quite a stir among the congregation, although most people pay less attention to them after the sermon begins. After the sermon, Alm-Uncle goes into the clergyman's house. He tells the clergyman that he will move to Dorfli in the winter so that Heidi can go to school. A crowd of people see Alm-Uncle go inside the clergyman's house. Some people say that Alm-Uncle must not be so bad after all. The miller says that he told them that already. Some people mention stories about the old man that they heard from Peter and his mother. The clergyman makes sure that everyone can see him shaking Alm-Uncle's hand when he leaves. All of the people in the crowd then greet Heidi's grandfather as an old friend. They say they are happy to hear he will be living among them in Dorfli in the winter.
Heidi's grandfather joins her when she goes inside Peter's house. Peter's grandmother is delighted to be able to talk to the old man for the first time in many years. Peter's mother tries to return the hat which Heidi left behind. Alm-Uncle says that, if Heidi wants Peter's mother to keep it, she should keep it. Peter's mother says that being in Frankfurt seems to have done Heidi a lot of good and wonders if she should send Peter there too. Peter arrives with a letter for Heidi that was sent to the post office in Dorfli. The letter is from Clara. It says that she, her father and her grandmother will visit Heidi in the autumn.
That summer, Clara's health worsens. In September, the doctor, whose own daughter has recently died and left him alone in the world, tells Herr Sesemann that Clara is not strong enough to travel to Switzerland. Herr Sesemann has the idea that the doctor can go to Switzerland instead. He can see Heidi and tell Clara all about his visit afterwards. Clara is told the bad news. She accepts the decision because she knows that it is for her own good. She also encourages the doctor to go to Switzerland. He agrees to go the following day. With Fraulein Rottenmeier's help, Clara packs a large box full of presents for Heidi, her grandfather, Peter, his mother and his grandmother.
Heidi sees the doctor coming up the mountain. She is pleased to see him because she knows that it was on his advice that Herr Sesemann sent her home. The doctor tells Heidi that Clara and her grandmother are not with him but that they will come to visit her the following spring. Heidi is sad to hear this. She then sees that the doctor looks sad too. To try to cheer him up, Heidi says that spring will soon come. Heidi takes the doctor up the mountain to meet her grandfather. Alm-Uncle advises the doctor to stay in the local inn in Dorfli instead of going back to Ragatz. He says that he can guide the doctor around the mountains. The doctor tells Heidi that something is coming which should make Heidi happier than seeing him again. A porter arrives carrying the box full of presents from Clara. Heidi is very happy with her presents but says that she was happier to see the doctor again. Heidi asks the doctor if he would like to accompany her, Peter and the goats up the mountain the next day. The doctor agrees. Alm-Uncle accompanies the doctor down to Dorfli. Heidi goes to Peter's house to deliver the presents from Clara.
Peter hardly talks to the doctor the following day. He resents how much Heidi talks to the man and makes angry gestures at the doctor behind his back. Heidi enjoys telling the doctor everything she knows about the flowers that grow on the mountain. The doctor believes that he cannot fully enjoy the beautiful view on the mountain because he has sadness in his heart. He tells Heidi so. She advises the doctor to tell his problems to God. The doctor asks what he should do if God were the cause of his sadness. Heidi tells him that, although people do not understand it, God always has a plan. She sings one of the hymns that she remembers from Peter's grandmother's hymn book. The doctor is reminded of his mother who used to sing the same hymn to him. When Heidi waves good-bye to him, the doctor is reminded of his late daughter.
Alm-Uncle guides the doctor around the mountains every day. On many days, the doctor accompanies Heidi when she goes out as well. At the end of his stay, he tells Heidi that he wishes she could go back to Frankfurt with him. Heidi sees that the man has tears in his eyes. She tells the doctor that she will go with him and she cries too. The doctor tells Heidi that she does not have to go with him now. He asks if she will come to join him when he is old, ill and alone. Heidi agrees.
In winter, Heidi and her grandfather temporarily leave their home on the mountain and move into the village of Dorfli. The house in which they stay is a large one but the rent is cheap because the house is old and dilapidated. Fortunately, Alm-Uncle knows how to repair everything that needs fixing. Heidi goes to school everyday. Peter is usually absent, although he often goes to visit Heidi in the evening. Alm-Uncle berates Peter for not going to school and threatens to beat him if he does not start going there more regularly.
Heidi asks her grandfather if she can go to visit Peter's grandmother. He says that she cannot because it is not safe to walk up the mountain when it is covered in soft snow. He tells her that she will have to wait until the snow freezes. When the snow finally freezes solid and Heidi is able to visit Peter's grandmother, she finds the old woman ill in bed with a cold. Peter's grandmother explains that she is wearing a heavy shawl because her bedclothes are thin. She adds that her pillow has become almost completely flat as a result of many years of use. The old woman takes some comfort in Heidi reading a hymn to her. Heidi knows that it will be a long time before she is able to visit Peter's grandmother again. She wonders how Peter's grandmother can be kept happy in the meantime.
So that he can read hymns to his grandmother, Heidi decides to teach Peter to read. He protests that he has already tried to learn to read and failed. Heidi reminds Peter that his mother has talked about sending him to Frankfurt. She says that, if he went to Frankfurt, he would have to go to a boy's school where all the teachers are much stricter than the one teacher in Dorfli. She adds that all the other students would laugh at Peter's inability to read. Peter agrees to let Heidi teach him. After three weeks of lessons, Peter is able to read hymns to his grandmother. Peter's grandmother is happy that her grandson is able to read to her, although she still looks forward to Heidi coming to read to her again in the spring. She has a feeling that Peter is missing things out when he reads. She is right. Peter always skips any word which he thinks is too difficult to read and ends up skipping a lot.
In May, Heidi receives a letter from Clara. In the letter, Clara says that she and her grandmother will be coming to visit Heidi, explaining that she has to spend six weeks at the baths in Ragatz first for her health. Clara adds that Fraulein Rottenemeier will not be coming with her and that her father will not be coming with her either because he has to travel for business again. Clara also says in her letter that the doctor often talks about his visit to Dorfli and that he looks much younger and happier than he used to. Heidi is delighted that Clara will soon be coming to visit her. Peter is not happy that Heidi will be spending time with another friend. Peter's grandmother worries that the visitors will take Heidi away to Frankfurt again.
One day at the end of June, Heidi sees Clara, her grandmother and several porters coming up the mountain. Clara is carried in a sedan chair. A porter pushes her empty wheelchair. After the porters leave, Clara and her grandmother both admire the view. Clara is impressed by the flowers that grow near Alm-Uncle's house. Heidi tells her that much more beautiful flowers grow higher up the mountain where Peter takes the goats.
When the time comes for Clara and her grandmother to leave, Clara says that she wants to see inside Heidi's house. Alm-Uncle has to carry her inside because Her wheelchair will not fit through the door. Alm-Uncle says that Clara can stay with Heidi for a month. Frau Sesemann agrees to this. A soft bed is made for Clara in the hayloft from coats and shawls. Frau Sesemann decides that she does not want to stay in Dorfli on her own and decides to return to Ragatz. After a few days, Frau Sesemann has two beds sent to Alm-Uncle's house, one for Clara and one for Heidi.
Peter comes down the mountain with the goats. Clara is glad to finally meet all the goats that she has heard so much about. Peter stands aside and casts some unfriendly looks at Clara. He does not speak to either Clara or Heidi.
At night, Clara spends a long time looking at the stars before she falls asleep. She hardly ever saw stars from her thick-curtained house in Frankfurt. Clara spends all of the first full day of her visit with Heidi sitting outside. It is the first time that she has ever spent an entire day outdoors. Also for the first time in her life, Clara enjoys her food and sleeps well. Clara and Heidi both write to Frau Sesemann every day and both tell her how much healthier Clara is becoming. Alm-Uncle even encourages Clara to stand for a few minutes each day. She does this, even those she says that it hurts her.
As Clara enjoys watching the sunset one evening, Heidi says that the sunset looks even more beautiful higher up the mountain. She says that the flowers are more beautiful up there too. Heidi longs to go up the mountain once more. She asks her grandfather if she and Clara can go up the mountain with Peter and the goats the next day. Alm-Uncle replies that he will take Clara up there if she will stand for him now. Clara does as she is asked. Heidi sees Peter coming down the mountain. She excitedly tells him that she and Clara will be going up the mountain with him the following day. Peter grumbles a response.
The following morning, Peter is feeling angry because Heidi has not been up the mountain with him all summer and will only be going up with him that day in the company of Clara. He is certain that Heidi will pay much more attention to Clara than to him that day. Peter sees Clara's empty wheelchair outside Alm-Uncle's house. He thinks that if he gets rid of the chair, Clara will have to go home. He pushes the chair down the mountain slope. It eventually falls, lands in Dorfli and breaks into pieces. Peter runs up the mountain without taking Little Swan or Little Bear with him.
Clara, Heidi and her grandfather notice that the wheelchair is missing. They think that the wind must have blown it away. Alm-Uncle also notices that Peter is late. They decide not to wait for Peter and to take Little Swan and Little Bear up the mountain themselves. Alm-Uncle carries Clara. When they see Peter, Alm-Uncle shouts at him for leaving Little Swan and Little Bear behind. He asks him if he knows anything about Clara's wheelchair. Peter feigns ignorance. Alm-Uncle puts Clara down and says that he will come back in the evening. He goes off to look for Clara's wheelchair.
Heidi wants to go to the spot where the most beautiful flowers grow. She leads the goat Snowflake towards Clara, so that Clara will not be left alone. Heidi thinks that the flowers are so beautiful that she wants Clara to see them too. She calls out to Peter, who is sitting alone away from the two girls, and says that she wants his help. He refuses to help. Heidi says that she will do something that Peter does not like if he does not help her. Heidi means that she will not let Peter have any lunch. He agrees to help because he thinks she knows he destroyed Clara's wheelchair and will tell on him.
Heidi and Peter stand on either side of Clara and start to carry her. Clara begins to walk herself. It hurts a lot at first but hurts less after a while. With the help of Heidi and Peter, Clara walks towards the flowers. After spending several hours among the flowers, Clara, Heidi and Peter walk back to the spot where Alm-Uncle left them. When Alm-Uncle returns, he is delighted to see that Clara can walk. He says, however, that Clara should not overdo it straight away. He carries her back down the mountain.
That evening in Dorfli, Peter sees a crowd of people gathered around something. He finds that they are gathered around the remains of Clara's smashed wheelchair. The baker says that, when Clara's father finds out what has happened, he will make inquiries and suspicion will fall on anyone who was on the mountain that morning. Peter begins to feel guilty and worries that a police officer will come from Frankfurt to arrest him.
Clara walks a little more each day. Alm-Uncle tells Heidi and Clara to write to Frau Sesemann and tell her to come over at once. They do as they are asked but do not tell Clara's grandmother why they want her to see them.
Peter delivers a letter to Heidi and then runs off. Alm-Uncle comments that the boy may be feeling guilty about something. The letter is from Frau Sesemann and says that she will be arriving later that day. When Frau Sesemann arrives, she is shocked at first to see Clara sitting on the ground without her wheelchair. She soon forgets about that and is impressed by how much healthier Clara looks. She is overcome with joy when Heidi helps Clara to walk towards her. Frau Sesemann decides that she needs to send a telegram to her son, Clara's father, at once. Peter is called back. He is given Frau Sesemann's message written on a piece of paper and told to go to the post office.
Unknown to Frau Sesemann, Herr Sesemann has come to Dorfli to see his mother and his daughter. He sees Peter coming down the mountain, calls him over and asks him the way to Alm-Uncle's house. Peter thinks that Herr Sesemann is a police officer from Frankfurt. He runs off and falls down the mountain. Peter is unhurt but the piece of paper that he was carrying is torn to pieces. Peter wants to go straight home and hide. He then remembers that he has left the goats on the top of the mountain and decides that he has to go back to them.
Heidi and Clara see Herr Sesemann coming up the mountain. Heidi helps Clara to walk towards him. Herr Sesemann is also overcome with joy when he sees his daughter walk.
Frau Sesemann notices some beautiful blue flowers outside Alm-Uncle's house. Clara says that they grow there naturally. Frau Sesemann thinks that somebody must have picked them and left them there. She sees Peter, calls out to him and asks if he did it, meaning if he left the flowers there. Misunderstanding her, Peter confesses to destroying Clara's wheelchair, something that Alm-Uncle already suspected. Frau Sesemann says that Peter should not be punished. She understands that Peter felt jealous when strangers came and took Heidi away from him. Wanting Peter to have a pleasant memory of the visitors from Frankfurt, Frau Sesemann asks Peter if there is anything he wants. Peter asks for a small coin. Frau Sesemann gives him money equivalent to fifty-two of those coins, one for each week of the year. She adds that she will make sure that Peter is paid the same amount each year for the rest of his life.
Herr Sesemann wants to reward Heidi's grandfather for all that he did to help Clara. Alm-Uncle says that he wants to be certain that, after he dies, Heidi will not have to leave Dorfli because she will be provided for financially. Herr Sesemann happily agrees to this.
Frau Sesemann asks Heidi if there is anything she wants. She says that she wants her bed and pillows from Frankfurt sent to Peter's grandmother. Frau Sesemann says that she will arrange for the bed to be sent over at once and that it should arrive in two days. Heidi wants to run off and tell Peter's grandmother the good news. Alm-Uncle says that she should not leave while they have visitors. Frau Sesemann says that they should all go to see Peter's grandmother together. Peter's mother sees Heidi with the visitors from Frankfurt. Peter's grandmother assumes that Heidi is being taken away to Frankfurt again. Heidi rushes in to tell Peter's grandmother about the comfortable bed that will be sent to her. Peter's grandmother is still clearly feeling sad, until Frau Sesemann reassures her that Heidi will not be taken away to Frankfurt again.
Clara, her father and her grandmother leave to continue a tour around Switzerland. They promise to come back and visit Heidi each year.
The doctor from Frankfurt retires and moves to Dorfli. He buys and renovates the large old house which Heidi's grandfather had previously rented. He divides the house into two sections, one for himself and one in which Heidi and her grandfather can live in winter. The doctor comes to feel just as responsible for Heidi's well-being as her grandfather. He decides that she will inherit his entire fortune when he dies.
Live-action film adaptations of Heidi include Heidi (USA 1937), Heidi (Switzerland 1952), Heidi and Peter (Switzerland 1955), A Gift for Heidi (USA 1958), Heidi (Austria 1965), Heidi (UK 2005) and Heidi (Germany/Switzerland 2015). The 1990 American film Courage Mountain is a sequel to Heidi. In the film, which takes place during World War I, a 15-year-old Heidi decides to attend a British-style boarding school in Italy.
Animated film adaptations of Heidi include Heidi's Song (USA 1983), Heidi (Japan/USA 1995) and Heidi (Canada/Germany/UK 2005).
Heidi has been adapted for British television as a BBC TV special, which first aired on May 19, 1959, and as a six-part BBC series starring Emma Blake, the first episode of which was first shown on October 20, 1974.
The novel has been adapted for American television as a TV movie which was first shown on NBC on November 17, 1968, as a two-part mini-series which was first shown on the Disney Channel on July 18 and July 19, 1993 and as the TV movie Heidi 4 Paws which was first shown on various public television stations in the United States on December 24, 2008. The TV movie The New Adventures of Heidi, which originally aired on NBC on December 13, 1978 is a sequel to Heidi in which the title character travels to present-day New York.
The 52-episode Japanese anime series Heidi, Girl of the Alps (Japanese; アルプスの少女ハイジ; Arupsu no Shōjo Haiji), directed by Isao Takahata, was first shown on Fuji TV between January 6, 1974 and December 29, 1974. In 1979, the series was edited down to a 90-minute movie. The series remains popular in Japan to this day. Its continued popularity is one of the reasons why large numbers of Japanese tourists visit the Swiss Alps each year. The series has been dubbed into many different languages and achieved considerable success in South Africa (where it was shown dubbed into Afrikaans), the Middle East and several Asian, European and Latin American countries. The 90-minute movie version was dubbed into English and released on VHS in the United States. The entire series has been dubbed into English twice, the first time for broadcast in the Philippines in the late 1970s and the second time for showing on the Cartoon Network in India in 2001. Those two dubbed English versions have not yet been released on any home video format.
The 1974 Japanese cartoon series was recently remade in 3D computer generated animation by Studio 100 Animation of France and Heidi Productions Pty Ltd. of Australia. The series first aired on the French TV channel TF1 between January 11, 2015 and January 24, 2016.
Heidi was adapted as a 26-episode live-action children's TV series, starring Katia Polletin as the title character, which was a co-production between television companies from France, Switzerland and West Germany. The first episode of the series was first shown on the Swiss TV channel Schweizer Fernsehen on September 13, 1978. The series, originally made in German, has been dubbed into several other languages. The dubbed English version of the series became a fixture of the BBC's children's programming throughout the 1980s.
- ↑ An alm is an alpine pasture. In the original German version of Heidi, the man is known by the Swiss-German name Alpöhi. The real name of the man (Heidi's grandfather) is never revealed.
- ↑ The name Heidi appears to be an invention of Johanna Spyri. There is no record of the name having existed before the novel was first published.
- ↑ Some English translations of Heidi retain the goats' original Swiss-German names of Schwänli and Bärli. It is later revealed that Little Swan is female and Little Bear is male.
- ↑ In the original German version of Heidi, the name of Herr Sesemann's daughter is Klara. It has however, become normal to write the character's name with a C in English-speaking countries.
- ↑ It is not revealed what happens to the kittens after Clara mentions them to her father. There is no reference to them being brought out of hiding or to Fraulein Rottenmeier ever finding out that they are still in the house.
- ↑ The 1968 NBC TV movie Heidi has become somewhat infamous in the United States. Coverage of an American football game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets was stopped one minute before the game ended so that the TV movie could begin at its scheduled time. In the final untelevised minute of what became known as the Heidi Game, the Oakland Raiders scored two touchdowns and won the game 43-32. To prevent such a blunder in their sports overage from ever happening again, NBC installed a hotline that became known as the Heidi Phone. Sports leagues in the United States now insist that networks continue to cover all games until the very end, regardless of the score at the time when the next scheduled program is due to start.
- ↑ All of the characters in the 2008 live-action TV movie Heidi 4 Paws are played by dogs.