Little House on the Prairie

The Race

Season 3, Ep 4, Aired 10/11/76
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  • Episode Description
  • Now that her beloved horse Bunny has officially been returned to her, Laura eagerly prepares to enter a local race. Angry and jealous about this, Nellie throws a tantrum until Harriet agrees to buy her an expensive thoroughbred from Sleepy Eye.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Melissa Sue Anderson

    Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

  • Kevin Hagen

    Dr. Hiram Baker

  • Richard Bull

    Nels Oleson

  • Karl Swenson

    Mr. Lars Hanson (1974 - 1978)

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • bunny returns to laura

    By JenniferHarris1, May 15, 2013

  • Story of a girl and her sexually confused horse

    By millerem99, Mar 10, 2012

  • With Bunny once again returned to her, Laura decides to enter an important local race. Nellie is writhing with jealousy and Harriet buys her a stunning thoroughbred to placate her and help her win.

    By Lady_Lancaster, Apr 14, 2011

  • Laura plans to enter the local horse race with Bunny. A jealous Nellie decides she too must compete. Hilarity and mayhem ensue.

    By DrCook920, Apr 19, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Nels: Harriet, I thought we already discussed this! Until Nellie learns to respect horse flesh, she doesn't deserve to own one! Harriet: I think I am perfectly capable of determining what our children need and deserve, Nels! And you will notice that my name is on this bank draft, so the money is coming out of my account!

    • Laura: (after winning the race) Mrs. Oleson? Harriet: Yes? Laura: I can't take this from you. It was your Ma's, and if it was my Ma's family cup, I wouldn't want to see it go to somebody else. Harriet: (shocked) Well, I.......well, that's very thoughtful of you, Laura. Very thoughtful of you. I don't know what to say. Nels: Well, that cup must be worth quite a bit of money. More than enough for three new pairs of shoes, wouldn't you say? I think that would be a nice return for Laura's thoughtful gesture. Harriet: Of course, Nels. That's the least that we can do. Nels: The least that you can do, Harriet. Harriet: Yes, of course, Nels. Nels: (long pause) The shoes are in the storeroom, Harriet. Harriet: (nods, takes cup, and stands up) Yes, Nels.

    • Caroline: I could stuff Laura's shoes with cloth so Carrie can wear them, and that way, we'd only have to buy the two pairs. Charles: Just the two pairs? I don't have enough money to buy one pair! Caroline: I guess we'll just have to charge them. Charles: You know how I feel about charging things! Caroline: Well, Charles, I don't see where we have much of a choice. The girls have got to have shoes! Charles: (sighs) All right, I guess there's no use putting it off. (turns to Laura, tousles her hair) Don't just stand there with your big old feet. Help me hitch up the wagon.

    • Charles: I do know that God seems to give each of us some special talent or gift. He gave you a couple of real good ones. He gave you determination, and a lot of spunk. Laura: Well, the fact is, I don't think that spunk's gonna help me now that Nellie's got that new thoroughbred. It's a real race horse, papers and everything! Charles: Now hold on! "Papers and everything." Who says horses can read? I don't think Bunny read those papers, and I think she knows she can win that race. And you will if you work hard enough. Besides, I never did hear of an Ingalls that was a quitter. Laura: (smiles) I'm not gonna quit, Pa. Charles: All right. That's more like it.

    • Harriet: (about the shoes the Ingalls are buying for Laura and Mary) That'll be, ah, three dollars for the two pairs. Nels: Those are going to be charged. I already discussed it with Mr. Ingalls. Harriet: Oh my, I just thought of something! Why, Nellie has an old pair of shoes that are practically like perfect, and she has grown right out of them, and I was going to give them to the needy in Mankato, but I think we should give them to the needy right here in Walnut Grove! Caroline: That's very kind of you, Mrs. Oleson, I'm sure, but we'll take these that we picked out. Harriet: Well, you know, I always say that charity does begin at home. Caroline: We don't need charity, Mrs. Oleson. Harriet: Well, what do you call it when you come in here and charge things? I mean, everything you see in this store, we have paid for. Caroline: I understand that-- Harriet: Well, then, I don't see how beggars can afford to be choosers! Caroline: Thank you for your kind offer, Mr. Oleson. We'll be back when we can pay for these in cash. Come along, girls. Charles: (angrily pushes past Harriet) Excuse me, Mrs. Oleson. Harriet: Ungrateful snippets!

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    Notes (1)

    • On screen, Alison Arngrim is credited as guest star - because she has a leading role in this episode.

    Trivia (4)

    • Just before Laura rides out on Bunny to fetch Doc Baker to tend to Willie, Laura speaks to the Doc on his way out of town, and he tells her that he is going to visit his mother in Sleepy Eye for her birthday. This is a rare reference to the Doc's family.

    • When Laura and Nellie are racing with their horses if you look closely that is not Nellie riding the horse it's a stunt double which looks like a man.

    • Producer Kent McCray made a cameo appearance in this episode. He's the guy on the wagon during the race saying "Go, Nellie, go!"

    • Defying Nels, Mrs. Oleson pays for Nellie's horse herself. She states she her own separate bank account - a big contrast to practically all married women at the time that Little House on the Prairie takes place.

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