Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 13

Stone Soup

4
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Jan 18, 1982 on NBC
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7.4
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  • A pregnant Laura nearly dies of heatstroke while trying to keep her newly planted orchard alive.

    7.0
    Laura and Almonzo have sunk all of their money into a new project: a fruit orchard. On the day they're to begin planting, Pa stops by and announces that he and Almonzo can make $150 each hauling freight to Arizona, a trip that's expected to take eight weeks. At Laura's insistence, Almonzo takes the job. Before they leave, the trees get planted, but it will be up to a five-months-pregnant Laura to make sure they stay healthy. Of course, an intense heat wave strikes, and there's no rain, so after Laura teaches school all day, she comes home and waters all afternoon. She's exhausted, and it shows: Ma, her students, even Mrs. Foster at the post office worry aloud about her condition. Laura brushes them off.

    Laura falls asleep in class, and after school Albert talks to Caroline and they go out to Laura's place. Lucky for Laura, because she's just collapsed from heatstroke. Albert and Caroline carry her into the house while Willie, who had just stopped by, runs back to town for the doctor.
    While Laura recovers, Caroline goes to the school and tells the students the story of "Stone Soup". They get the message: it sometimes takes a community to get a job done. They go to the Wilders and water all the trees thouroughly. Almonzo gets home. The End.

    This is a good episode to watch, from a writing and acting standpoint, but there are some serious improbabilities in the plot: would Laura really refuse all the help she's offered in this episode, and risk her pregnancy just to keep some trees watered? Why does Caroline think it's ok to steer other people's children toward helping Laura during a heatwave when people are dropping like flies? And Laura states that she is "five month's pregnant" in this episode. Rose was born on December 5th, which means this episode takes place in July. Why were the children even in school?
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