Many things to pick apart for me in this particular episode. In the beginning, it seems as if this might just be a lighthearted, feel-good episode; everybody adores little Blanche (an exceptionally well trained orangutan/actor, even better than Melissa Gilbert.)
Maybe it should have been a no-brainer that much dramatic tension would ensue, as when the sheriff is going to shoot poor little Blanche. In the scene when the sheriff arrives,
He asks Miss Plum to remove the children from the schoolhouse as if he plans to shoot it while it's on her desk, then everyone goes outside presumably to watch Mr. Edwards shoot his new little friend. Those poor schoolchildren! Also, notice the pattern of baby Rose left unattended (as in "Once Upon A Time") and the Ingalls'farmhouse catching fire (Rage).