Student Question

What is Heidi storing to take home to her mountain grandmother?

Quick answer:

Heidi is storing up dinner rolls made of white bread to take home to the mountain grandmother, who only has black bread to eat.

Expert Answers

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When Heidi goes to live with Fraulein Rottenmeier and Clara in Frankfurt, she saves up the rolls she gets every night at dinner for "mountain grandmother." Heidi can't bear the thought of eating the rolls when she can store them for the blind grandmother, who doesn't have any white bread and has a hard time eating the hard black bread she is served.

Homesick, Heidi ties the rolls up one day in her red shawl and decides to go home. This does not work out for her, as Fraulein Rottenmeier gets angry that she wants to leave, thinking her ungrateful and unappreciative of all the fine things in her new home. Heidi tries to explain that she misses the mountain and her life and friends back there, but Fraulein Rottenmeier thinks she is crazy.

So Heidi stores her rolls for mountain grandmother in her wardrobe until Fraulein Rottenmeier finds them one day and has hysterics over the hoarding. She tells a servant to take them away, which sends Heidi in a fit of sobbing. She cries and cries, telling Clara:

Now grandmother's bread is all gone! They were all for grandmother, and now they are taken away, and grandmother won't have one.

Clara is so shocked by Heidi's tears that she tells her the rolls would have been stale and too hard to eat and that when Heidi goes back to the mountain, she will make sure she has all the fresh, good rolls she wants for grandmother.

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