Little House on the Prairie

I'll Ride the Wind

Season 3, Ep 13, Aired 1/10/77
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  • Episode Description
  • Adoptive parents Grace and Isaiah Edwards have begun to notice how bright their oldest son John is, and thanks to his writing talent, the boy receives a four-year scholarship to a university in Chicago. Grace is thrilled, but Isaiah would rather have a son to share his farming lifestyle. Furthermore, John and Mary have immediate marriage plans that will not be possible if John decides to follow his ultimate dream. Torn between two worlds, John is forced to make the most difficult decision of his life.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Melissa Sue Anderson

    Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

  • Michael Landon

    Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

  • Karen Grassle

    Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

  • Lindsay Greenbush

    Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • John Sanderson, Grace and Mr. Edwards adopted son has to choose between being a famer and taking up a literary scholarship at a Chicago university.

    By Lady_Lancaster, Apr 15, 2011

  • John (adoptive son of Grace and Isaiah) must make a decision between college and life as a farmer married to Mary.

    By walnutgrove, Nov 08, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Mr. Edwards: What's the matter, Mary? Mary: You know what's wrong, Mr. Edwards, just as well as I do. What we're doing here is wrong. What we decided back in the beginning was wrong! Mr. Edwards: Wrong? There's nothing wrong about it. Look at him down there. He'll have that field busted by sundown tomorrow. You've got yourself a good farmer down there, and he's doing it all for you. Mary: That's what's wrong about it! He's doing it for me, and for you, not for himself! He isn't a farmer. He wasn't born to be a farmer. He was born for this. He was born for books, and words, and the music he can make with them, and we're taking that away from him! Mr. Edwards: When you marry a girl, you don't want to-- Mary: It's true! You know it's true! We can't hold him like a meadow lark in a cage! He'll stay if we ask him to, with the life gone out of him, and the music. I want him, more than you do, maybe, but not that way. I don't think you do, either. Do you?

    • Caroline: That's what happens when you fall in love and get married. You start a new life and leave the old one behind. Mary: Is that what happened to you? Caroline: Sure. It happens to everybody. Mary: What kind of a world did you leave behind? Caroline: I can't remember. Oh, if I think back to the time before I met and married your Pa...it's like I don't even know that girl. The things she wanted to do, the places she wanted to go, the person she wanted to be. Things change so. You get married, and you have one another to look out for. A house to build, crops to grow. Children to raise, feed, and clothe. Bills to pay. Mary: And that'll happen to us, too. Caroline: But you'll be glad, for all of it. You leave one world behind, and you go on to the new. And you forget the dreams you had before. Mary: Will John forget about his poetry? Caroline: Well, your Pa still plays his fiddle, doesn't he?

    • Mary: How long will you be away? John: Four years. Mary: Four years? John: I talked to him for not even five minutes, and it changed my whole life. Four years at the university, everything paid. I don't even know what a university looks like. Mary: Wonderful, I expect. John: It's a great opportunity. Mary: You'll be gone a long time. John: But I'll be back in the summer for two weeks, maybe three, and at Christmas. We'll see each other twice a year. Mary: Twice a year...... John: Well, it's better than nothing. We'll have so much to talk about. Mary: You'll be different. John: No I won't. Mary: You will too. Living in Chicago, going to the university......that's like living on the moon compared to Walnut Grove. John: What do you want me to do? Mary: I want you to go. You can't turn down four years at the university. It'll be different, John, and you'll be different when you come back at Christmas. John: You really want me to go? Mary: Of course I do. When it's done, we'll both be glad you did it.

    • John: I thought about it all last night. I'm gonna stay here and farm with Isaiah. I could spend four years at the university and never become a writer after all. Nobody's promising anything. Grace: You don't need promises! All you want is an opportunity! John: I have an opportunity here. Grace: Are you sure you know what you're doing, what you're giving up? John: I know. Grace: You haven't the faintest notion, John! They're offering you the world! John: My world's right here. I've made my decision.

    • Charles: What did you say? Mary: I said we're gonna save our money. Charles: Well, who's "we?" Mary: John and I. Charles: What for? Mary: A house. A place of our own. Caroline: (when Charles looks at her for help) Well, why not? Charles: Well, I don't know why not. I never even thought about it. I mean, she's only thirteen years old!

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    Notes (2)

    • In a well-written moment of foreshadowing, 13-year-old Mary predicts aloud that John will change once he moves to Chicago to attend college. To analyze the detailed accuracy of her prediction, see season 4's "Times of Change."

    • Continuing the story of John, see further episodes of 68 - Times Of Change & 168 - Chicago

    Trivia (4)

    • John Jr. is the first character in the series to earn and accept a full college scholarship, but not the last. Another student gets one in Season 4's The Creeper of Walnut Grove.

    • Goof: John Jr. is supposed to be out in the field plowing, but you'll notice that there's no plow. He's behind a horse, just dragging his feet.

    • Mary becomes engaged to John Jr. at 13 and has Charles' permission to marry at the age of 15. Charles is considerably stricter with Laura, and when Almanzo proposes to her at the age of 16 in Season 6, Charles initially insists that she wait until she's 18.

    • The quilt on John Jr.'s bed is the same one that the Rev. Alden uses at the Hodgekiss' house in the previous episode, "The Collection."

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