Little House on the Prairie

Season 1 Episode 8

Ma's Holiday

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 06, 1974 on NBC

Episode Recap

Charles invites Caroline to accompany him on a freight job to Mankato as a sort of holiday for her. He tells her that Grace Snider can look after the kids. However, Grace winds up sick forcing Charles to cancel his plans. However, Mr. Edwards strolls by the farm and the kids recruit him to take Grace's place. Caroline reluctantly agrees and the two of them set off, though Caroline is still fretting about leaving the kids.

At the dinner table, Edwards is regaling the kids with a tale from his past and they are clearly spellbound. He tells them that some Indians saved his life and gave him the Indian name of Sittin' Bull. Edwards tries to spoon feed Carrie but she throws it back at him. He uses Jack to clean his plate before rinsing it with water and then heads out to the barn to feed the livestock and clean the stalls. Later Laura and Mary show him how to put Carrie to bed and then he listens to their prayers and kisses them goodnight. On the road to Mankato, Caroline and Charles are sleeping next to the wagon but she is still worrying about the kids. At the homestead, Edwards is awakened by Carrie's crying. He figures she is hungry so he gets her something from the fireplace but Carrie is asleep in her bed before he finishes. The next morning, he begins washing clothes and hanging them on the line to dry but Carrie has other ideas. He solves the problem by tying Carrie to a pole. Taking Carrie hunting, Edwards kills a rattlesnake and prepares it for supper.

The girls are less than thrilled with the evening's feast which Edwards has dubbed "Indian Stew." Meanwhile, Caroline and Charles are sitting down to dinner at one of Mankato's finest restaurants. Back at the homestead, the girls are having trouble eating his delicacy. Laura tries to feed some to Jack but even he turns it down. The girls try to get Edwards to read them a story but he backpedals, owing to the fact that he can't read or write. In Mankato, Caroline's dream about the kids wakens Charles and he can't go back to sleep. At the homestead, it is raining and Edwards is snoring. Suddenly, it begins storming. Laura realizes they forgot to gather the eggs so she and Mary get up, light a lantern and head out to gather them. They cause a commotion in the hen house that awakens Edwards and he prepares to head out with the shotgun when Mary and Laura surprise him at the door and he shoots a large whole in the roof. He bawls them out as the rain comes pouring in through the gaping hole.

At a dress shop in Mankato, Caroline is trying on bonnets while the saleslady is telling them about a customer whose house burned down during the war, killing the children inside that gets Caroline to thinking about her own kids. Back at the homestead, Edwards is working on patching the hole in the roof when he loses track of Carrie. Looking all over the farm, he goes into the house searching but still can't find her. He sits on the parents' bed and Carrie comes crawling out from under it yelling, "Boo!" Edwards returns to the roof mending. When Laura and Mary come home they tell Mr. Edwards that Carrie is not supposed to be on the roof. No matter, he says. He's nailed her dress to the roof. In Mankato, Charles and Caroline buy tickets to a play but they don't realize the title of the play, "Abandoned Daughters." Caroline is getting so upset watching the play that Charles leaves early and tells her that they will head back in the morning.

Back at the homestead, Edwards is applying the finishing touches to the repaired hole in the roof and swears the girls to silence. Charles and Caroline are in their wagon heading back home. Caroline apologizes for her continual worry and fretting about the girls but Charles tells her he is just as anxious to get home as she is. At the homestead, Edwards is giving Carrie a piggyback ride when the girls come home from school and they get on too. But he wrenches his back and it's up to the girls to take care of him until their parents get back. Laura takes some eggs to Oleson's to sell. While there, Nels spots the Ingalls wagon coming into town. Laura begs Nels to keep her Ma and Pa in town because they aren't ready for them at home. She races home. The kids race around to get the chores done just as their parents pull in. Both Charles and Edwards lie about their respective experiences. Charles goes inside as Edwards limps home.
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