Libretto by Paula Fünfeck (G)
2S,M,T,Bar/B; children's or female chorus;
Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock
Lisa is an orphan who lives with her grandfather. Grandfather is strict: The wind, this soul-eater, will carry away whoever gets up to nonsense! Lisa dreams up a companion: Tobias, whom Grandfather brings home to them from the children’s home. Lisa shows Tobias her secret place: the attic, where the old junk becomes alive when she is there alone. Also there is an old paper kite, whose painted face smiles and seems to invite her to ignore prohibitions. However, when the ladder falls over, Lisa and Tobias are discovered – Grandfather explodes and curses: They should go to "where the pepper grows".
Lisa does not let herself be put off and furtively takes the kite out of the attic in order to fly it. However, there is no string. The two kids get into a quarrel about it. Lisa will save the situation by means of a game of hide-and-seek. However, Tobias believes that Lisa has now really disappeared. His tears awaken the kite to life. He takes the shape of a real dragon and flies off with Tobias in order to liberate Lisa from the claws of her supposed kidnapper. Lisa, for her part, sets off for the land where the pepper grows in search of Tobias.
On a journey through time and space, in search of each other, the children experience strange adventures. The dragon’s castle turns out to be an unaffordable luxury hotel – as they flee from it, they are joined by a kitchen mouse with whom the dragon has fallen in love. Lisa gains the favor of Prince Melancholikuss by making him laugh. Thankful, he accompanies her on her further journey and assists her in the struggle against the iron-biter, an emissary of the soul-eater. The latter has meanwhile taken possession of Tobias’s soul. He wants to use it in order to also catch Lisa. However, with the help of magical peppercorns, which were given to her by the prince’s bride, Lisa defeats the evil one and returns home with Tobias.