Little House on the Prairie

The Award

Season 1, Ep 12, Aired 12/11/74
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  • Episode Description
  • While studying for an optional history examination in the barn one night, Mary accidentally knocks over a reading lamp. After narrowly putting out the fire, a furious Caroline yells at her daughter and forbids her from taking the special test. Later, Mary takes a job at the mercantile to pay for some items damaged in the fire, then makes a decision that could further aggravate her relationship with her mother.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Melissa Sue Anderson

    Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

  • Charlotte Stewart

    Miss Eva Beadle/Mrs. Simms (1974 - 1978)

  • Karen Grassle

    Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

  • Lindsay Greenbush

    Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

  • Fan Reviews (3)
  • Great Show

    By 1lawfan, Mar 19, 2012

  • Charles is out of town and things are tough for Caroline ... and Mary!

    By Lady_Lancaster, Mar 21, 2011

  • One of my favorite episodes!

    By loverslost, Feb 16, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (8)

    • Laura: I'm looking for something. Mary: What? Laura: I don't know. Mary: Well, how can you be looking for something when you don't know what the something is? Laura: I'll know it when I see it. Mary: Laura, sometimes you don't make sense! Hurry up, we'll be late for school! Laura: Okay, I'm coming. You know, sometimes you don't make sense, either. Mary: When don't I? Laura: Every morning, you're always in a hurry to get to school. Mary: Well, I like school. Laura: That's what I mean! You don't make sense.

    • Laura: How do you spell bow like on a tree? Caroline: You mean bough? Laura: Bough. Caroline: B. Laura: B. (writes it down, pauses) O-U-H? Caroline: O-U-G-H. Laura: O-U-G-H. Caroline: If Mary wins that dictionary, then pretty soon you won't even have to ask. You can look the words up. Laura: (long pause) How can I look up a word I can't spell?

    • Laura: Since I don't have any homework, can I go fishing after I do my chores? Caroline: Well, just because you don't have any homework doesn't mean you can't spend a little extra time learning. Laura: (sighs) Yes, Ma. When I'm dead, the history books will say that I hardly ever got to go fishing!

    • Mary: You know what Pa always says: "Never cross your bridges until you get to them." Well, that's what I'm doing. I'm going to wait for my bridges!

    • Reverend Alden: (about Mary's change in behavior) She's taken responsibility for her mistake, and she's trying to make amends. A few more days, and she's gonna be the Mary you always knew. Caroline: What about the history exam? Reverend Alden: If you forget this punishment, your girls can expect you to forget about the next one, and the one after that. Caroline: That's true. Reverend Alden: Family discipline is...well, it's based on promises kept, for both punishment and reward. Without them, children have no rules to live by. Caroline: And neither do we.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (3)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

    • Featured character: Mary Ingalls

    • This is the very first episode of the series in which Michael Landon does not appear.

    Trivia (2)

    • Melissa Sue Anderson, who plays Mary, has indicated in previous interviews that she really loved doing this episode. It was the first episode that focused in on Mary, and Melissa Sue feels that it was her chance to prove that she could take on more complex material in the series--which she certainly did in later seasons, when her character went blind.

    • At the beginning of this episode, while Laura is narrating, she says something like "Pa didn't go away very often, but when he did, it took a whole lot of people to get him started." It's a bit of a stretch for Laura to say that Pa didn't go away much; with his hunting trips and out-of-town visits while on business at various times, Charles Ingalls had to go away quite a few times. That was evident from the pilot episode, as well as Laura Ingalls Wilder's books.

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