Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 1, Episode 10 - The Raccoon - full transcript

Blaming herself when Laura's doll breaks during a game of catch, Mary is delighted to give her sad, little sister an abandoned, baby raccoon. After Pa reluctantly agrees to let her keep him, Laura names him "Jasper", teaches him tricks and tries to keep the mischief-maker out of trouble. But one day, Jasper bites Jack, the Ingalls' dog, and disappears into the woods. When Charles later shoots a snarling, rabid raccoon who is killing the chickens and begins to watch Jack for signs of rabies, a tearful Mary reveals a terrible secret... Jasper had also bitten Laura who made Mary promise not to tell.

Mary: Bring it here, Jack.
Come on.

Bring it here.
Good dog.

Hey, Laura, you want
to play ball with me?

Laura: Uh, I was just gonna
play tea party with Janet.

You can play

All right. I guess
Janet won't mind.

Good, because
I need to practice.

You sure look

Now, you wait right there.
Be right back.

Mary: Sorry.

You have to aim better.

That's why
I want to play.

So the next time we have a
party and play 3 old cat,

I won't miss
so many.

Come on. Throw it
right over the plate.

Are you all right?

She's all broken.

I feel like
I've killed her.

I'm sorry.

It was my fault,

I threw the ball.

She's an unhappy girl.

Well, I'm afraid she's gonna
be just as unhappy tomorrow.

There's no way I'm gonna be able
to put this thing together.

The big pieces
are easy,

but some of them are just
as small as pieces of dust.

Mary feels just as bad.
She threw the ball.

Yeah, it was
just an accident.


Do you think we
could afford to...

I'm sorry, Caroline,
I can't. It's...

It's the winter money.
There's never enough.

I know.

You know
I wish I could.

Of course I do.

They'll get over it.

these two fit.

That's very good,

Here. Why don't you
try some of these?

Two biggest pieces
you picked.

Man: Here we are.
Bisque doll heads.

Yes, I can order one, but
they ask a sight of money.

How much?

Well, with movable eyes...
That's the best grade...


Do they have one
for 11 cents?

59 and 69.
That's the cheapest.

I troubled you.

No. I'm sorry
I couldn't help.

Thank you,
Mr. Oleson.

Jack, what are you
doing way out here?

Stop that!

Jack, stop it! If you've
flushed anther skunk...

Oh, my.

Poor little baby.

Lost your mama?

Laura: Oh, it's the nicest,
nicest little fellow.

Can I really have it?

Mm-hmm. I brought
it home just for you.

But I'll share it.
I promise.

You want to pet it,


Oh... boy.

He's the best thing
I ever had.

I'm gonna put a big
ribbon around his neck.

And he can have
my pillow.

You're not gonna
take him to bed?

Why, sure.

See how gentle
he is, ma?

I can keep him
in my bed, can't I?

I think not.

Well, he's never
lived in a house.

He, uh, he doesn't
know his manners.

He might get
into mischief.

I'll look after him,

and I'll clean up
after him.

And I even have
a name for him.

I'll call him Jasper.

Please, ma?

We'll see.

Looks like
he's in a good mood.

Charles: Hi, everybody.

Hi, pa.

Where'd you get
the raccoon?

Laura: Mary
gave him to me.

I found him
out in the woods.

I'm gonna make
a pet out of it.

I'm sorry, half-pint.
That wouldn't work.

I gave it
to her, pa,

so she wouldn't miss
her doll so much.

Well, it just
wouldn't work.

That animal's not a kitten
or a puppy dog.

He's wild.

He's got no more place
lmng in a house

than you'd have
lmng in a wolf den.

Doesn't make sense trying to
make a pet out of an animal

that was born
to run loose.

But, pa, look
how gentle he is.

I wouldn't have brought him
home for Laura if he was wild.

Mary, he's gentle now
because he's a baby.

You wait a little while, that
animal will be as big as a dog

and nowhere near
as reliable.

A raccoon like that could
really hurt somebody.

Well, if he grew up
with us, he'd be tame.

Half-pint, if he was tame, he'd be the
first tame raccoon I've ever seen,

and I've seen
an awful lot of them.

No more arguing about it.
Just take him outside

and play with him
for a little while

and then turn him loose, back
in the woods where he belongs.

Pa, he's
just a baby.

Like Carrie.

Laura: You wouldn't leave Carrie
out in the woods, would you?

Caroline: Now, that was
a silly thing to say.

You've given your
father enough bother.

do as he says.

Go on.
Take him outside.

I'm sorry,

I never thought
pa would say no.

Think I was wrong?

No. I think what you
said was very sensible.

But you would just as soon I
wouldn't be so sensible this time?

Well, it's just that Laura's
been missing her doll so much...

All right.

Can't have my women thinking I'm
the meanest man in Minnesota.

But she's only gonna keep
it for a little while.

Thank you.

All right, you can
keep the raccoon.

Thanks, pa!

Thanks, pa!

Hear that, Jasper?
You're gonna be my pet.

Now, hold on. He's
not gonna be a pet.

You're just gonna tend to
him till he's big enough

to take care
of himself,

and that's gonna be a lot
sooner than you think.

Let's take Jasper up
to our room, Laura.

Hold on. He's not going
in the house.

Well, Jack goes
in the house.

Well, I think Jack's a little bit
different. He's gonna stay in the barn.

You like him,
don't you, pa?

And you'll like
him even more.

He'll grow on you.
Wait and see.

Oh, he's gonna grow,
that's for sure.

Now, why don't you
put him out in the barn.

Yes, pa.
Come on, Jasper.



Kissy. Yeah. You gonna
give me kisses? Hmm?

There. It's nice
and warm and dry.

Jasper should be
very happy here.

He liked it better
in our room.

Laura, pa said
he has to stay...

I know pa said.

Jack, hush.

Yeah, that's
my little baby.


Kissy? You gonna
give me some kisses?

Now, where's half-pint?
She'd better hurry up.

She's gonna be
late for school.-

she's outside.

With Jasper?


Today's the day
Jasper's going to school.

What are you gonna do... teach
him to read and write now?

Laura's talked so much
about him,

all the other kids
want to see him.

Miss beadle said she
could bring him, huh?

She said she'd like
to see Jasper, too.

Stand up and ask
for your breakfast.

That's it. Ask for
it like a good boy.

Isn't that special?

Jack can do that.

A dog's supposed to.

Come on. We'll be
late for school.

Wait. Let me practice it
one more time.

All right.
Jasper, quit that.

Hey. Ok.

Stand up.
Jasper, stand up.

He does it better
when I have an egg.

Ma sells every
extra egg.

We don't have any
to waste on him.

Well, that was my lunch
egg I just fed him.

Ma gave me an extra one
so he'll stand up in school.

Come on.

Come on, Jasper.
Come on.

Laura: Come on, Jasper.
Jack, stop it!

Jack, go home!
Go home!

Jack, stop it!
Jack, come back here!

Jack, stay!
Jack, stop it!

Laura: Jack, you stay.
You're a bad dog, Jack.

Mary: He just wants
to come with us.

They didn't ask
to see a dog.

Come on, Jasper.

Jasper, come on.
Jasper, come on.

You'll like school.

It's all right.
Come on.

You won't be...
Don't be scared.

Nobody's gonna
hurt you.

Come on.

That's a boy.

Now, children, we've
all seen raccoons before,

but can anyone tell me
what they eat?

Girl: Fruit?


Boy: Bugs?

Girl: Fish.
They eat fish.

Boy: Birds and eggs.

Fruit, fish, birds,
and eggs. Mm-hmm.

Boy: And bugs.

Boy: And toes!

And bugs.
Is that right, Laura?

That's correct.
Except for bugs.

Also, raccoons
eat meat.

Toes are meat.


We have raccoons around
our place all the time.

Nothing so special
about them.

Jasper's trained.

That makes him

I quite agree, Laura.

Would you like to see
Jasper eat an egg?

Children: Oh, yeah!
Yes, very much.

That's amazing.

My dog can roll
over and play dead.

Laura, you've done a remarkable
job of training a wild animal.

Thank you,
miss beadle.

Now, children, I'd like
you all to be thinking

about your assignment
for tomorrow,

which will be to write an essay
on what kind of wild animal

you would like to have for a pet.
School is dismissed.

can I hold it?

Me, too! Yeah! Yeah!

You're scaring him.

Children, please be careful.
He could bite.

Boy: See,
I told you.

He eats toes
and fingers, too.

Laura: That's not so!

Jasper never bites.

Charles: Hey, where are
you going, half-pint?

Say good-bye
to Jasper.

Well, hurry up. I don't want
you to be late for church.

Sorry, Jasper. You can't
go with me today.

They don't allow
raccoons in church.

If you hide your eyes,
I'll give you an egg.

Hide your eyes.

Good boy.

You be a good boy,
Jasper. Bye!

Laura: Bye, Jasper!

Laura: Pa, how many baby
raccoons do raccoons have

when raccoons
have baby raccoons?

I don't know, half-pint.
It all depends.

2, 3, maybe 4,
I guess.

Mary: Why do you
want to know?

Laura: Well, Nellie oleson
wants a baby raccoon,

and I bet all the other
kids do, too.

Mary: So?

Laura: What I was
thinking is,

if I had baby

I could sell them
to the other kids

and make lots of money.

That's pretty
hard to do.

Jasper's a boy raccoon.

Charles: Whoa!

Hey, be quiet, Jack,
we'll let you in.

What's the matter?

Laura: Jack,
what's the matter?

Charles: Must smell
that good pie you made.

All right, that's it.

That raccoon is gonna go!

This may take a while.

You're a bad boy,

Sneaking into the house and spilling
all that food like you did.

You ought to be
ashamed of yourself.

I'm sorry, half-pint.
That's it.

Laura: What are
you gonna do, pa?

Charles: I'm taking him
back to the woods.

But, pa, he's just
a baby.

He can't take care
of himself.

Don't argue,
and don't start crying.

He's going back to the woods.
My mind's made up.


Here we go, Jasper.

Back in the ol' woods, eh?

Come on. Out you go.

Ha ha! Off with you.

He got lonesome
out there, pa.

He didn't know anyone.

I'm the only
mommy he's got.

What are you
gonna do, pa?

I'm gonna
build him a cage.

Laura: Get back! Mary,
would you hold Jack, please?

Laura: Hi, Jasper.


Jack, be quiet.

Mary, would you tell him to be quiet.
He's scaring Jasper.

Stop it!

Stop it!

Jasper, get back there.
Get back. Get back.

It's ok, Jasper.

I won't let
Jack hurt you.

That's a boy.

Jack, be quiet.

Don't do that!

It's ok, Jasper.
Here you go.

Ow! He bit me!

Oh, Laura,
let me see!

leave Jack alone!

Mary: Jack!

Laura: Stop it!

Mary: Jack, stop it!

Oh, Jack.

Laura: Jasper?


He bit Jack.

Laura: It's just
a little nip.

Like he gave me.

Jasper turned wild.

Jasper didn't turn wild.
He was just upset is all.

Being caged...
And Jack barking at him,

trying to
make him fight.

Well... he's gone now.

But he'll come back.

He better not.

When pa finds out he bit you
and Jack, he'll really be mad.

Mary, don't tell pa.

Laura, we have to.

It's just
a little scratch.

It's a bite.

Doesn't hurt
hardly at all.

look at Jack.

He isn't hurting.


If we tell pa, he won't let me
keep Jasper when he comes back.

Laura, it's not right
not to tell.

Do you want me
to lose Jasper?

I think
you already did.

He'll come back.
I know he will.

Mary, please?



All right.

Thanks, Mary.

I'll just tell pa that I opened
the cage and Jasper ran off,

and that's the truth.


Laura: Jasper!

Jasper, where are you?



Jack, you go home!

Where are you?

Oh, Jasper.

Why did you have to go?

So sweet...

Oh, yes.

Charles: Mmm.
Time for bed, huh?

Good night.

Good night, pa.

Have a good dream.

Good night,

Hey, Jack.
How you doing?

What are you doing up on that table, huh?

Hey, half-pint, where have
you been hiding yourself?

I didn't see you
all afternoon.

I've been out
looking for Jasper.

Well, I'm afraid you're
not going to find him.

But he came back

He must have
got lost this time.

Half-pint, I really think he's decided
he wants to live in the woods.

Now, I know
you feel bad, but...

Hey, you got
your best friend,

your old dog Jack,
right here.

It's all his fault
Jasper's gone.

It wasn't
Jack's fault.

Jasper bit him!

Laura: Mary Ingalls,
you promised not to tell.

Now, hold on a minute. What's this
all about? When did that happen?

When Jasper ran off.

Charles: I'm gonna tell you,
Laura Ingalls, Jack was lucky.

Now, a raccoon like that
could tear a dog apart.

Look, I know you feel bad, but
it's better for everybody.

It's better for us,
and it's better for Jasper.

Now, you go on,
finish your homework.

Yes, sir.

Go on, Mary,
finish yours.

Laura, whispering:
Jack, shhh!

Mary: Quiet, Jack!
We're trying to sleep!

Laura: Be quiet!

Will you be quiet?!

Charles: I don't know.

Stay here.
Come on, Jack.

Caroline, go back!

Come on.

Charles: Laura,
go with your mother.

I know it's a sorrowful thing,

I didn't want to do it.

I just didn't
have any choice.

It's all my fault.

I'm the one who fed
Jasper the eggs.

I spoiled him
on eggs.

That's why
he came.

Charles: Hey, now,
hold on, now. It's...

It's not your fault. Now, you
think that's the first raccoon

that ever went
after a chicken?

It's in his nature,

Nothing he could do about it.
Nothing you could do about it.

There's nobody
to blame.

It's all my fault.


You were right.

You were right.

She's asleep.

You all right?

Stay there!

What's the matter?

The raccoon
was rabid.

That's why I buried him
and the chicken so fast.

I didn't want
anyone to touch them.

Caroline: Why are you
tying Jack up?

Mary told me that night
that the raccoon bit Jack.

I found the wound.

He drew blood.

Mary: Here,

Move over.
I got to get the eggs.

Now, what are you
doing in there?

Jack, who did that
to you?

Who tied you up?


leave him be.

Well, why?

What's he done?

He hasn't done
anything yet.

I didn't want to
say anything last night,

but there's a chance
that he may have rabies.

We're not gonna know for a while.
Not for sure, so...

Till we do, I don't want
you or Laura or Carrie

to go near him.
All right?

You mean...

Because Jasper
bit Jack?

Charles: That's right.

But it wasn't
much of a bite.

It doesn't have to be. He broke the skin.
That's all it takes.


Can people get
the rabies from a bite?

Yeah. That's why I don't
want you to go near the dog.

Oh, pa!


Oh! “O! “O; “O, no.



What about her?

What about her?!

Jasper bit Laura.

Why didn't you
say something?

Why didn't you
tell me?

I made a promise.

I promised her...

Because she wanted
Jasper to come back.

What's the matter,

Oh, nothing.
Don't worry.

4 days ago,
you say?

That's right, doc.

Well, then, we'd better start
treatment immediately.

One gumdrop, to be
taken internally.

Thank you.

And I don't have to
take any medicine?

For a little bite
like that? No.

Just rest in bed
for a couple of days.

That's my prescription.

Dr. Baker's
magic formula.

Now, why don't you take
these out to your sisters

to keep peace
in the family,

while I have a chat
with your folks.

I haven't seen them
for quite a spell.

Bundle up.

Thank you, doctor.

Doctor, does she?

It's too early to tell, Mrs.

How long
before we know?

Watch the dog.

Hydrophobia in a dog runs its
course from start to finish

in about 8 days.

The incubation period
for a girl Laura's age

is anywhere from
3 weeks to a month.

If the dog doesn't
develop rabies,

chances are Laura won't.

Well, if, um...
If worse comes to worst,

what kind of treatment
will you give her?

There is no treatment.

There, you see? This
isn't gonna be so bad.

You get to lie in bed
and be waited on,

and Mary's gonna
do all your chores.

How would you like a glass
of warm milk with cinnamon?



What's going to
happen to me?


You're just going to stay in
bed and get a lot of rest.

I'll... I'll get
your milk.

It isn't true,
is it, pa?

I want to know.

You want to know,

then I'm just gonna have
to tell you, all right?

A raccoon bite's
a pretty serious thing.

First thing happens,
you start getting

these big black circles
around your eyes.

And then your ears get all pointy,
and they stick up like that.

And you get an awful
craving for raw eggs.

Pa, you're teasing.

I guess I am.

Because you
don't want me to know.

That's why Dr. Baker
sent me out of his office,

so I couldn't hear
what he said.

No. We just had
some things

we wanted to talk over
with the doc, that's all.

Jasper was sick
when he bit Jack.

That's why he's tied up.

You're afraid
he's gonna get sick.

There's a chance he might
be a little sick, yeah.

And me. Am I
gonna get sick, too?

I don't know. I...

I just pray to god
you don't.

Don't worry, pa.

We'll be all right.





Orange juice.


"What prettiness,
what whispering wings.

"What happy,
feathered flying things.

Between green fields
and sunny sky..."

Caroline: Uh... Sky.

Laura: Cloud.

"Between green fields
and sunny sky,

I wish we, too,
could learn to fly."



Do you hate me?

I wouldn't blame you
if you did.

Why should I
hate you?

You're my sister.

About the worst sister
anybody ever had.


look what I did.

I'm the one who brought Jasper
home in the first place.


But I wanted him.

And I didn't tell pa he bit
you when I should have.

And then I did tell pa after
I promised I wouldn't.

You didn't tell pa because
I asked you not to.

And that's being
good to me.

Then I broke
my promise to you.

A promise is
a promise, you know.

But you had to tell pa so he would know
if I was going to get sick or not.

I'm just not
a good sister.

You are, too, Mary.

You're the very best sister.

I couldn't hate you.

Mary, I love you.

Oh, come on,
it's all right.

It's just the waiting.
Everything's gonna be all right.

Mary: Ma?

Laura's thirsty.

The doctor said
it's a sign!

It's not a sign!

The child is just thirsty.
It's not a sign.

I'll fetch
some water.

How you feeling,

Not so thirsty anymore.

Just tired.

Just lie down.

Stay up here.

Oh, there, there, there.





It's all right!

What? Why?

It's all right.
Everything's all right.

There were
two raccoons.

The one that killed the
chickens... it wasn't Jasper.


That's Jasper
out there now.

He sat up
and begged.

It was the prettiest
sight I ever saw.

You're all right.

My baby's all right.

Then Jack's
all right?

Half-pint, Jack
is just beautiful.

Why don't you go out
and untie him.



Oh! Oh, yeah!

Oh, yeah!