Little House on the Prairie

Season 1 Episode 13

The Lord is My Shepherd (1)

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Dec 18, 1974 on NBC
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Episode Summary

The Lord is My Shepherd (1)
The Ingalls family appears to be officially complete when Caroline gives birth to a beautiful little boy, but trouble strikes when Charles Jr. falls gravely ill. Jealous of the baby's place in her father's heart, Laura refuses to pray for her brother, which leaves her with a heavy burden to bear when fate takes an ugly turn.moreless

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Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer

Reverend Alden

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

William Cort

William Cort

Dr. Mayo

Guest Star

Laurie Lusher

Laurie Lusher


Guest Star

Bonnie Bartlett

Bonnie Bartlett

Grace Edwards

Recurring Role

Victor French

Victor French

Mr. Edwards

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • There is a significant time jump between this episode and the previous/next one. The announcement of Caroline's pregnancy, the following nine months, and the birth of her and Charles' baby boy are all crammed into the first few minutes of the episode. This is not plausible, particularly with little Carrie, who was only about three at the beginning of Caroline's fourth pregnancy and would have surely grown and changed a lot in a year. Something similar was done in Season 9's A Child With No Name.

    • When the title of the episode flashes on the screen at the beginning, you can clearly see that "shepherd" is misspelled. It was foolishly written as "shepard," and nobody fixed it before airing the episode.

    • Goof: The church/school bell is strangely absent from the building in this episode.

      This is because this episode was filmed before that in which the bell was installed, but when they were transmitted the sequence was changed.

    • This 2-part episode is Melissa Gilbert (Laura)'s favorite in the whole series. She says it's because "it really showed just what my relationship with Michael Landon was all about." Lindsay Greenbush (Carrie) also lists this episode as one of her favorites.

    • Ernest Borgnine, who guest stars in this episode, is best known for playing one of the survivors in the movie "The Poseidon Adventure" and as Lt. Cdr. Quinton McHale on McHale's Navy.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Charles: But you know, the odds are we'll have a boy. We've had three girls.
      Caroline: Remember the Stevensons back in Wisconsin?
      Charles: Mm-hmm.
      Caroline: Eleven girls.......

    • Charles: Aren't you going to eat?
      Caroline: Carrie already had lunch, and I'm not hungry.
      Charles: You've been eating enough lately to keep a bird alive.
      Caroline: I'll gain weight soon enough. All women do.
      Charles: Don't tell me you're worried about weight. You take after your mother. There's no way in the world you're gonna gain any pounds.
      Caroline: There is one way.
      Charles: Well, if there is, then I'd sure like to know.....(stops cold, looks at Caroline, she smiles and nods, he jumps up and hugs her) A baby!

    • Caroline: You said it again.
      Charles: Said what again?
      Caroline: "He."
      Charles: Oh. I'm sorry. I didn't even realize I said. I just can't seem to remember not to say it.
      Caroline: I know, that's what you keep telling me.
      Charles: It just seems kind of strange to be calling a baby an "It." I mean, wouldn't you feel a bit put out if somebody kept calling you "It?"
      Caroline: I think I'd feel worse, Charles, if I was a girl--and someone kept calling me a boy. Oh!
      Charles: What is it?
      Caroline: He just kicked.
      Charles: Who just kicked?
      Caroline: The baby, he just kicked.
      Charles: It just kicked.

    • Reverend Alden: Are you all right, child?
      Laura: I wanted to ask you a question.
      Reverend Alden: Well, certainly. Come sit down, right here by me. Now, what question?
      Laura: It's about the sermon today.
      Reverend Alden: Well, I'm happy to hear you were listening. I'm afraid some folks don't.
      Laura: What can God do?
      Reverend Alden: (pause) I don't think I know what you mean.
      Laura: Well, you said that God can make all things possible.
      Reverend Alden: Yes, that's right.
      Laura: Like what things? You mean miracles?
      Reverend Alden: Yes, sometimes even miracles.
      Laura: How could you get a miracle?
      Reverend Alden: Well, Laura, there's no way to guarantee that.
      Laura: But there would be a chance if you prayed hard enough.
      Reverend Alden: Yes, if you prayed really, really hard. You see, the closer you are to God, the more likely He is to listen.
      Laura: The closer you are......
      Reverend Alden: That's right.
      Laura: Thank you, Reverend Alden. (smiles and runs out)

    • Caroline: (about the baby) He's still not gaining.
      Doc Baker: Well, he's not gaining, but he's not losing. Just holding his own. I think we'll try putting him on regular milk. I believe that'll do the trick.
      Caroline: But his appetite is good.
      Doc Baker: Well, there might be something wrong with your milk, Caroline. It's just a difference in body chemistry. That's what they call it.
      Caroline: It's never happened before.....
      Doc Baker: Oh, now, don't start worrying. Everybody starts worrying when they don't have a fat baby.
      Caroline: Oh, I'm not worried--just so long as you say everything's all right.
      Doc Baker: Everything's fine.

    • Nels: Grace Snider told me she'd never forget the look on your face when she told you it was a boy.
      Charles: And I'll never forget the moment she told me.
      Nels: I'll bet your wife was happy.
      Charles: That she was.
      Nels: A son. You have everything a man could want now.
      Charles: That I do.

    • Laura: Do you want a brother or a sister?
      Mary: I don't care.
      Laura: Pa wants a boy, you know.
      Mary: How do you know that?
      Laura: Because every time he talked about the baby at supper, he said "him" or "he." That's how I know.
      Mary: Well, only God knows if it's a boy or a girl, so you might as well get some sleep.
      Laura: I hope God wants a girl.

    • Mary: You forgot the special prayer for Charles. Ma asked us to.
      Laura: I don't have to.
      Mary: Don't you even care about your own brother?
      Laura: Pa cared enough for all of us. But that's all he cares about anymore.
      Mary: That's not true, and you know it!
      Laura: It is too true. I asked God for a sister, and He didn't listen. So now I don't care.
      Mary: You take that back, or I'll tell Pa!
      Laura: Go ahead. He won't listen. He'll be too busy playing with our brother. Go on. Tell him, you'll see.

    • Laura: It was the best day ever, wasn't it Pa?
      Charles: That it was, Half Pint.
      Laura: And I'll always remember it. Won't you?
      Charles: I'll always remember it.
      Laura: I love you more than anything.
      Charles: And I love you.

    • Laura: Let's play, Pa!
      Charles: All right. What would you like to play, Half Pint?
      Laura: Every game we ever played. Every single one!
      Charles: Hey, what's this sudden burst of energy?
      Laura: I just want to have the best day ever.
      Charles: That's as good a reason as any. All right, let's see. Hide-and-go-seek, and I'm It! One, two, three....
      Laura: Come on, Mary! Pa's It!
      Caroline: You didn't finish your lunch.
      Charles: Lunch can wait, Ma, we've got games to play!

    • Charles: (about Caroline after the baby's death) She's got a lot of strength, that woman.
      Mr. Edwards: That she does.
      Charles: Laura's the one I'm worried about. She's taking this a lot harder than the rest of us. I try talking to her about it, but she just avoids it.
      Mr. Edwards: Well, it's only been a few weeks. Time takes care of everything.

    • Harriet Oleson: Well, now! That's fi--no, four [children] now, isn't it, Mrs. Ingalls?
      Caroline: Four is correct, Mrs. Oleson.
      Harriet: Yes. I guess that's the way it is with country folk. Sort of like being a brood mare. Of course, in my case, Nellie and Willie are more than enough.
      Caroline: In the case of Nellie and Willie, I couldn't agree with you more!

    • Mary: Maybe I can feed Freddy soon.
      Caroline: Your brother's name is Charles.
      Mary: Mr. Edwards calls him Freddy.
      Caroline: Mr. Edwards uses a few names he shouldn't.
      Charles: Caroline, you're speaking of your son's godfather.

    • Charles: How's your friend today?
      Caroline: That woman--
      Charles: Now, now, Caroline, it's Sunday.
      Caroline: She makes it very hard to be Christian.
      Charles: Well, if you can't pray for her, at least pray for her husband!

    • Reverend Alden: The closer you are to God, the more likely he is to listen.
      Laura: "The closer you are." Thank you, Reverend Alden!

  • NOTES (3)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra location scenes filmed at Donnell's Vista, Clark Fork River, Iceberg Meadow and Kennedy Meadows, and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

    • The Title comes from the 23rd Psalm, which Charles and Caroline recite (in this episode).

    • Originally aired as a 2-hour episode. Shown on the DVD and (usually) in syndication in 2 parts. Because of that (and how distinctly different the 2 parts are) they have been listed on separate pages in this guide.