Drinking the meadow with Heidi.

Our women’s book group read Heidi recently, and then met on the patio at church one evening to talk about the book. There were ten or twelve of us, and we ate pizza and drank wine together, too. But before any of that, we were served fresh goat cheese made nearby, to connect us via our taste buds to our beloved protagonist; it put us in the right mood. And then — goat milk fresh from that morning! Some of our party didn’t want even a taste, so I drank a couple extra shot glasses myself. It tasted like a Swiss mountain meadow.

This reading of the book was for me by means of an audio recording, and I can’t remember the picture on the cover of the book we gave our daughter long ago, which she keeps. When I searched for a picture, I noticed the lack of depictions of Heidi as she is described in the story, with black hair. I guess illustrators (and movie directors, too) tend to think Swiss = blond.

I read that “thirteen English translations were done between 1882 and 1959” from the German of the original, and “about about 25 film or television productions of the original story have been made.” We talked a little in our gathering about the movies we have seen and how they aren’t faithful to the book, and typically leave out any reference to prayer.

In Switzerland tourists can visit Heidiland, where one of the associated villages was renamed “Heididorf.” I wonder if visitors there can drink fresh goat’s milk, from the morning’s milking? I bet at least one of my readers has that experience at your own kitchen table. Cheers!

9 thoughts on “Drinking the meadow with Heidi.

  1. I don’t think I ever read Heidi when young but find myself going back to my childhood favorites often now so I should find an early issue Heidi. I do remember loving the Shirley Temple movie many times and not having read the book assumed it was probably true to the book. Now I’m wondering how far Hollywood changed it.

    We do love goat’s milk cheese and buy it regularly but I can’t even make myself drink regular milk unless it’s over cereal with fresh berries. Your meal shared with the other ladies sounds wonderful, good conversation with pizza!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t remember seeing a movie of Heidi, and so many have been made — but according to my friends they vary in how wicked they make the grandfather or the aunt out to be, or in what events they add to the plot to make it more dramatic for film. I hope you read the book, because it is full of Christian faith and wisdom!


  2. I read the book a long time ago but I can’t remember what colour her hair was. We watched an old B&W movie and enjoyed it. In that version grandfather was stern but not at all wicked.
    I’m not a big fan of goat cheese and have not tasted goat milk.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heidi was one of the most influential books of my childhood. I went through about a six month period where I insisted on drinking my milk from a bowl, like Heidi. I was astonished to read here about revisions to the story. The grandfather as a wicked character? No reference to prayer? I’m just as glad I never saw any of the movies, or later versions of the book. My copy was part of the Children’s Classics set. I wish I still had them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes me happy to think about all the children who knew the original story in such a compelling way, as you did.

      I began to write this reply about what makes me sad, but the arch-story that includes good books and true stories (whether fictional or not) is a glad one, and I cling to it.

      Liked by 1 person

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