Little House on the Prairie

Silent Promises

Season 6, Ep 20, Aired 1/28/80
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  • Episode Description
  • Eager to sharpen her teaching skills and seem more grown-up, Laura volunteers to tutor a deaf teenager named Daniel,.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Patrick Labyorteaux

    Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (1977 - 1981) (as Patrick Laborteaux)

  • Lucy Lee Flippin

    Eliza Jane Wilder (1979 -1980)

  • Richard Bull

    Nels Oleson

  • Matthew Laborteaux

    Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (12)

    • Laura: I don't know what to do, Pa. I mean, if you love someone, really love them, and you just knew that person didn't feel the same way about you.....well, what I mean is, if you couldn't have the person you love, wouldn't it be good to make someone else happy, be with them, and help them? Charles: Sharing your life with someone is fine, but you've gotta love them. You can't pretend to feel something you don't feel. Laura: How can I tell him, Pa? How can I make him understand without hurting him? Charles: Well, I don't think there's any way you can do it without hurting him, but it'll pass. Laura: He'll give up his studies. I know he will. Charles: If he does, it's his own fault, because he's doing it out of spite. Laura: But Pa, he's-- Charles: He's deaf. That's all the more reason he needs teaching, not your pity. Look, if you want to be a teacher, young lady, you're gonna have to be a lot tougher with your students--and a lot more honest.

    • Laura: (about teaching Daniel sign language) It won't hurt anything, Mr. Page. Please? Nathan: It's kind of you to offer, Laura, but you're just a child, and Doc Baker says it takes special training for it. Laura: Well, I'm a teacher--or at least I'm gonna be. And I'm willing. You got someone better in mind? Nathan: It's a waste of time. It's God's will for my boy to be the way he is. Laura: It's my time I'm wasting, and God gave us our own wills! Just give me a chance, please.

    • Nathan: (about his son, who is deaf) I should have never brought him to town. He can't hear, he can't think-- Doc Baker: Well, now, wait a minute, Nathan! I know he can't hear, but as to his thinking, that's something else. Nathan: Oh, come on, Doc! He's like a helpless baby. Doc Baker: All babies learn. They just need teaching.

    • Laura: (overvoice) Daniel came back, and he did learn--and so did I. I learned that a student has an obligation to himself that is as great--or greater than--a teacher's obligation to his student.

    • Albert: (in response to Laura's perfume) How come you smell like Ma? Laura: None of your business. Albert: You're going to see Almaaaaanzo. Laura: I'm going to see Miss Wilder! Albert: Right. Laura: Well, it's true! Albert: You don't care how you smell for Miss Wilder. Trust me, I sit next to you in class--I know! Laura: That's disgusting! Albert: Yeah, it is! Laura: And so is your dumb doghouse! (storms off) Albert: Why did I ever have to have a girl for a sister?

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    Notes (1)

    • Actor Alban Branton, who played Laura's deaf student Daniel Page, is actually deaf in real life.

    Trivia (1)

    • Either this episode covered a very long period of time, or Laura managed to teach sign language to Daniel extremely quickly. While it's natural for people to learn basic conversational signs, like "Hello," "How are you?" and "How much does that cost?" relatively fast, it can take several years to talk back and forth in the magnitude that the characters did here.

    Allusions (1)

    • In this episode, Melissa Gilbert's character Laura takes on the job of teaching a deaf student. A year earlier, she starred opposite Patty Duke in a film version of The Miracle Worker, where Gilbert played deaf and blind child Helen Keller.

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