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Heidi is an orphaned girl initially raised by her maternal aunt Dete in Maienfeld, Switzerland after the early deaths of her parents, Tobias and Adelheid (Dete's brother-in-law and sister). When some people ask Dete to come to the city and be their maid, Dete takes 5-year-old Heidi to her paternal grandfather's house, up the mountain from the Dörfli ('small village' in Swiss German). He has been at odds with the villagers and embittered against God for years and lives in seclusion on the alm, which has earned him the nickname 'The Alm-Uncle'. He briefly resents Heidi's arrival, but the girl's evident intelligence and cheerful yet unaffected demeanor soon earn his genuine, if reserved, affection. Heidi enthusiastically befriends her new neighbors, young Peter the goatherd, his mother, Brigitte, and his blind maternal grandmother. With each season that passes, the mountaintop inhabitants grow more attached to Heidi.