Mary and Laura are both really nervous about attending the Walnut Grove school for the first time. Their parents explain to them that school is a wonderful opportunity to learn and to make new friends and they become a little more enthusiastic.
Such a pity then that they have to lock horns with the snobbish and unbearable Nellie Olseon, who will be the bane of their existence for years to come. The uppity Nellie is unimpressed when she sees the two new students and spends the day constantly referring to them as 'Country Girls' a name which Laura in particular takes great exception to. So, the first day of school is not very pleasant, except for the fact that they meet the love Miss Beadle, their teacher, who is kindness itself.
Mary can read and write very well, but Laura knows only the alphabet. I find this a little strange as Caroline Ingalls is a former teacher and I would have thought that she would have made certain that Laura could read and write well before her current age. Apart from that, a great episode.