This is the story of a little orphaned girl, Heidi, who has been raised by her Aunt Detie. As the story opens Heidi and Aunt Detie are on their way up to the top of a Swiss mountain. Heidi must now live with her grandfather. Aunt Detie can no longer take care of her as she has a job with an important family in Frankfurt.
At five-years-old Heidi is a bubbly and kind little girl. It doesn't bother her that Grandfather is grumpy and not liked in the village or that he lives in a hut and there is no extra bed or chair for her. This spirited little girl wins him over. She also makes friends with Peter, the boy who takes care of the goats and with Grannie, a blind neighbor.
Heidi and Grandfather settle in and make it a happy and pleasant home in the Alps. They become very attached to each other. It's been two years but one day Aunt Detie shows up with a new plan.
Detie takes Heidi back with her for a "visit" to Frankfurt. She has secured a place for Heidi as a companion to the invalid daughter of a very rich man. Clara is confined to a wheelchair, is taught by a private tutor, but she has no friends her age. Heidi is just what Clara needs.
On this year long visit Heidi learns to read and write. She looks forward to the day she can read to Grannie. Although Heidi and Clara are good friends, Heidi is very homesick. Her health begins to fail and Clara's doctor suggests she return to the Alps.
Once back in the Alps Heidi gains back her health, she teaches Peter to read and write. Grandfather is reconciled with the people in the village, and Clara comes for a visit. Yes, things turn out okay and everyone lives happily ever after. This is probably where I first started my love for the happily-ever-after stories.