Little House on the Prairie

Season 3 Episode 3


Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 04, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • Nellie Oleson leads everyone to believe that she is paralyzed after a fall from Bunny.

    This episode presents Nellie at her very worst. When she whips Bunny just to upset Laura, the horse takes off running, with Nellie on board. The horse runs straight into a stand of trees, and Nellie falls--hard. At the Oleson house, the family and Laura stand around tensely while Doc Baker pokes Nellie in the feet with needles--no reaction. The doctor assures that the Olesons that the paralysis is only temporary, but of course Mrs. Oleson freaks out and berates Laura, after which she orders Nels to "shoot that horse". Laura dashes outside and rides Bunny home, where she hides her in the barn. In the following weeks, out of a huge sense of guilt, Laura spends every afternoon at Nellie's bedside, helping her keep up with her schoolwork--all while her own schoolwork and chores suffer. Just when Charles and Caroline are about to put a stop to Laura's Florence Nightengale routine, Mrs. Oleson shows up at the Ingalls homestead--and finds Laura in the barn with Bunny. Mrs. Oleson demands that Laura turn over the horse; she refuses, instead riding to the Olesons, where she hopes to talk Nellie into telling her mother that the accident wasn't Bunny's fault. But before Laura can knock, she witnesses Nellie dancing around happily in the living room. Realizing she's been majorly duped, she knocks, is invited in, and tells Nellie that Mrs. Oleson asked her to take her for a walk in her chair. Laura proceeds to take her tormentor to the highest point in town, and when Mrs. Oleson drives by, Laura sends the wheelchair--with Nellie in it--careening down the hill and into a pond. Nellie, of course, is forced to stand to keep from drowning. Mrs. Oleson promptly faints and falls out of the buggy. Flash forward to Laura sitting on the steps of the mercantile. Mr. Oleson comes out, and as Laura attempts to apologize for her actions, he gently takes her hand and informs her that the horse will be going home with her permanently. This episode is classic Little House--a must see for all true series fans.