Season 3 (1976-1977)
Reverend Alden gets sick when he is collecting donations to help a town in trouble, and Caleb and Mattie Hodgekiss take him in. While Mattie nurses the Reverend back to health, her husband sets off to Walnut Grove to continue the collection. But he plans to keep the money himself.
I'll Ride the Wind
John Jr. finds out a publisher likes the poems he has submitted, and he and Mary start dreaming of a future together. When he is offered a scholarship in Chicago, he is thrilled - until he realizes he’ll be away from Mary. Also, Mr. Edwards doesn’t take kindly to the idea of John becoming a writer, since he doesn’t regard that as real work. Now John will have to decide which of his dreams he wants to follow.
After treating Bunny badly, Nellie has a riding accident, and ends up paralysed, Mrs. Oleson blames both Laura and Bunny, and orders Mr. Oleson to shoot Bunny. But Laura steals the horse, in order to save her life. Feeling guilty about Nellie’s accident, Laura spends all her time helping Nellie with her schoolwork. But she has no idea that Nellie is just faking her illness!
Laura is training her horse Bunny for a race - but Mr. Dorfler says she’ll have to get new shoes for Bunny. Since Pa is having enough trouble finding money to buy shoes for the girls, Laura gets a job at Mr. Dorfler’s to pay for Bunny’s shoes. But when Nellie finds out that Laura is riding “her” horse in the race, she’s terribly upset - until her mother buys her an expensive racing horse.
The Monster of Walnut Grove
When Laura and Mary go to town on Halloween, Laura sees Mr. Oleson cut off Mrs. Oleson’s head. She’s terrified by what she’s seen - but no one will believe her. Even her best friend Carl has doubts about her story - until they find out Mrs. Oleson is going away to visit her mother - but isn’t on the stage!
Journey in the spring
The family keep hoping Charles' parents will come to visit them - they keep saying maybe they will - in the spring. But then Charles’ mother dies, and he goes to visit his father. But his father has lost his will to live, and even tries to burn down the house - with himself still in it. So Charles decides to take his father with him to Walnut Grove. Meanwhile, little Carrie has made friends with Tom, the Thanksgiving turkey, not realizing they are going to eat him!
Laura has been working for Mr. Parsons, and when she finds out he’s going to shoot his goat (the last one of it’s kind!) Laura agrees to take the goat as payment. The goat and Mr. Parsons didn’t get along, and Laura soon realizes the goat does not get along with anyone - even though Laura has named him Friendly Fred!
The Bully Boys
Three brothers - The Galenders - have moved to Walnut Grove. As usual, the people of Walnut Grove do their best to be nice to the newcomers. But while youngest brother Bubba becomes the school bully, even giving Mary a black eye, his two brothers take advantage of the businesses of Walnut Grove. But when they decide to block Caroline’s way when she’s on her way to town, they have gone too far…at the same time the patience of the adults is being tested, the children have the same difficult decision to make. When has someone gone so far that they are entitled to do something about it?
Laura convinces Charles to take her with him on his hunting trip. On the way they meet Ben, who lives with his blind father. The father refuses to leave the cabin, even though Ben has often asked him to come with him when he goes out to check traps. Laura and her pa are having a wonderful time - until an accident happens. Laura knocks over the rifle, which is still loaded, and Charles is shot.
Christmas time in Walnut Grove again. While the mothers are making decorations for a Christmas party, the children are making Christmas presents in school. Carrie is also there, even though she hasn’t started school yet. When it starts to snow, Miss Beadle decides to let the children go home early. But the snow soon turns into a blizzard, and the men must go out to search for the children, while the school house is turned into a temporary hospital for those they find.
Little Girl Lost
Miss Beadle gives the children a special homework - they are all going to collect bugs! Mary and Laura are both excited to get started, but then Carrie decides she wants to go with them. When she lets out their bugs from the jar, especially Mary is annoyed with her, and she is told to wait with Jack while they go look for more bugs. But the girls stay away longer than they should have, and little Carrie chases a butterfly and falls down a hole in the ground. Meanwhile, Mr Hanson refuses to give Mr. Loudy a job - since they once both loved the same girl, but she chose Loudy, Now that she is dead, Hanson blames Loudy for her death - since he only saved himself and the daughter.
Mr Edwards has been with Doctor Baker in a nearby town, where people are sick with mountain fever - several of them have died. Mr Hanson puts Walnut Grove under quarantine - the school will be closed, and the children are told not to visit each other. But no one seems to be getting sick, and the Ingalls girls soon start to get bored with staying at home. Caroline too admits their house is feeling smaller and smaller. But then one morning Alicia wakes up with the fever. Feeling guilty that he has once again brought the fever back to his family (it killed his first wife and their daugher), Mr. Edwards decides to take Alicia with him to his old cabin to take care of her there. When the news reaches the Ingalls family, Laura decides to take a bucket of raspberries to Alicia. She promises to only leave the berries there and run, but when she hears Alicia calling for help, she decides to go inside.
Willie is pretending to be Robin Hood, and soon gets into a fight with Laura - and they both end up standing in the corner. But then Mary comes up with the idea to perform plays based on the books they’ve read, and Miss Beadle thinks it’s a good idea. But forming groups isn’t that easy - while Willie is having trouble finding someone to do a play with, Nellie decides to join Mary, Laura, Alicia and Ginny, who’ve decided to do “Little Women”. But when Nellie joins the group, Alicia doesn’t want to be in it anymore, and the Ingalls sisters also have their doubts. But since Ginny so much wants to see the Oleson’s house, they agree to be in it for her sake.
Mr Mayfield has been really nice to Ginny and her mother, even though her mother keeps insisting they don’t need (or want) his help. But when Ginny’s mother says she’s not going to go see the play, Ginny is heartbroken, and tries to come up with a plan to convince her mother.
Amelia Stokes was captured by Indians 12 years ago. Now she returns to Walnut Grove - with an Indian boy called Spotted Eagle. But her father says his name must now be Joseph Stokes. But to Caroline Amelia reveals the truth. Her father made up the story about her being a captive. She married an Indian named White Buffalo, and Spotted Eagle is their son. Soldiers killed her husband, and now she has returned to Walnut Grove with her son. But Mr. Stokes refuses to accept him as his grandson.
To Live With Fear
Mary gets kicked by the new horse. At first she seems to be fine, but next day when jumping rope at school she is not feeling well at all, and Doctor Baker says she should stay in bed for a few days. But at night Mary has a nigh fever, and the doc is fetched right away. He thinks she might have an infection and advices Charles and Caroline to take her to the hospistal in town, since he is not capable of that kind of surgery. The operation seems successful at first, but soon Mary’s fever returns, and the doctor says she'll have to have another operation as soon as she's strong enough. Charles heads home to try to find a way to pay for the expensive hospital bills.
The Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon Henry has one big wish - he wants to go to school. But black children aren’t allowed to. Upset about his situation, and after getting in trouble for “borrowing” a book, Solomon decides to leave his mother and older brother, to find happiness elsewhere. When Charles helps him after he gets in trouble for stealing an apple, Solomon decides to follow him home. He tries to sell himself as a slave to Charles - even though slavery is no longer allowed, but Charles allows him to stay and work on the farm, in return for food and schooling. But at the same time Charles decides to find out about Solomon’s family.
The Music Box
Laura has a new friend named Anna. Anna gets teased by Nellie because she stutters. But in spite of that both Laura and Anna are invited up to Nellie’s room to hear about the secret club Nellie is starting. But Nellie’s whole plan was just to be mean to Anna. She makes it clear to her that she can not be in the club - because she stutters. When Laura sees Nellie’s beautiful new music box, and notices Nellie doesn’t care about it at all, she decides to take it. She was disappointed when she got a dictionary for her birthday- she would have much rather have had something like the music box! But then Nellie catches Laura with her music box, and Laura promises to anything Nellie says if she doesn’t tell anyone she has stolen it.
The school is electing the class president. Knowing that the boys will only vote for a boy and the girls will only vote for a girl, the girls are sure of winning, since there are more girls than boys in the school. But Joel and Kenny come up with a plan. They nominate Elmer Dobkins - the boy they are always picking on, while their friend Jim nominates Mary! Of course Nellie has also made sure to be nominated. That way the boys will all vote for Elmer, while the girls divide their votes between Mary and Nellie. But are they serious about wanting Elmer for president, or is just another mean trick?
It’s been raining for months now, and the situation is starting to look really hopeless for the people of Walnut Grove. Several families have already left the little town. But Mr. Edwards has a plan. He suggest they make a 400 mile trip to be part of a gold rush! Feeling they’ve got nothing to loose, both the Edwards and Ingalls family decide to go.
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