my first memories of lassie are not from the series, though i am fairly sure isaw the series before anything else; i was two years old when it premiered and i remember the lassie books and the lassie movie (already not new when my folks took me to see it) from about the age of eight. of the movie i remember... sitting in the theatre, looking up at the screen, thinking how different the lives of the people on it were from mine, and admiring that beautiful dog. at least one of the books i remember a great deal better. the cover was a bright blue, i think, and of course had an outstanding picture of lassie on it, bright sable and white. it was a hardback, with large print for kiddie eyes. the story concerned a trip into the woods taken by timmy and a friend, and the astonishing behavior of lassie: she attacked timmy's friend, knocking him down! the rest of the book concerned what to do about lassie. had she gone mad? was she now vicious? did she have to be destroyed? as it turns out (you guessed it) lassie was okay, and had a good reason for jumping on timmy's friend: the woods were full of poison ivy. timmy was immune to poison ivy and lassie KNEW this so she had always let him go in the woods, but she couldn't stand by and let the other boy get poison ivy, now COULD she? hmm? of course not!
so i learned the word "immune" at the age of eight, from lassie.