Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 1, Episode 24 - Founder's Day - full transcript

Walnut Groves' Founder's Day festivities promise fun and friendly competition for all except aging logger and "Bull of the Woods" Jim Tyler, who secretly fears losing the log chopping ...


Here, boy.

That's a good dog.

Good Jack.

You can say it, Carrie.
"Founder's day."

Founder's day.

That's right.

Hey. Morning, all.

All: Hi, pa.

I'm gonna be
in the rope-skipping contest.

And I'm gonna be in the
hoop-rolling contest.

You're both
gonna go hungry

if you don't have
your breakfast.

Both: Yes, ma.

I haven't packed
your lunch yet.

You can have another cup
of coffee.

Oh, good.
I'll be working

with a new man

Where's Mr. Edwards?

He's on his way
to Minneapolis.

Picking up some machinery
for Mr. Hanson.

Pa? Laura and I
are both gonna be

in the 3-legged race
on founder's day.

Founder's day,
founder's day.

That's all I've been
hearing about lately.

Now, Charles. The
founder's day celebration

is gonna mean a lot
to a lot of people.

Oh, you bet.

Extra business for the olesons and Mr.

not to mention
any huckster

that feels like
setting up shop.

For walnut grove,
and that means

a little prosperity
for everybody.

And it's more
than that.

It's... it's a community effort.

It's something
we can

all participate in
and enjoy.

That's the women's league

It certainly is.
We are all 100% behind it.

Well, that's very good,
because so am I.


We're all gonna be
in contests, pa.

Which ones are you
gonna be in?

Well, I gave it
a great deal of thought,

and I decided to be
in the spectator contest.

I'm just gonna watch.

Aw, pa. That won't
be any fun.

Well, I can't learn
to skip rope,

and I can't roll a hoop
worth a hoot.

See you tonight.
Be good.

Bye, pa.
Bye, pa.

Bye pa.

Hanson: Ha. I gave you a saw
you can look up to there.

Man: Yeah, that you did.

Charles. Jim Tyler,
Charles Ingalls.

I've been looking forward
to meeting you, Mr. Tyler.

Oh, just call me Jim.

No need
for that "mister."

I'm a pretty easy fella
to get along with.

Just call me Charles.

I'll do that, son.

If I think about it.

Uh, we got the team
all hitched up

while we was waiting
for you.

I guess we might
as well get started.

Oh, we'll give you a good
day's work, Mr. Hanson.

Don't you worry
about a thing, huh?

Uh... you do handle
a team, son?

Yeah, I think
I can manage.

Yes, sir. I was bull of
the woods for 30 years,

of all the work.

Guess there's not much about
logging I don't know.

You keep an eye on me, boy,
you'll learn a thing or two.

I don't guess there's
a farmer in a thousand

knows how to use
a crosscut saw.

See, you never
push on it.

Got to pull it. Can't lean
on her to bend it, twist it.

Ah, look here, son.

I'll show you what
I was telling you about.

You see, you get too much
set on these cutting teeth,

your saw'll choke
on you.

Too little set,
and she binds.

Are you all right?

Why'd you ask that?

Well, you ain't hardly
said anything

since we started out.

I'm just quiet,
I guess.


You're strong
as an ox, right?

Well, I reckon.

Like to work hard?

Hard is the only way
I know to work.

Good. You got
all day to prove it.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

How did the work go?

It went fine.

We got enough cut
for 4 or 5 loads.

We'll haul them
in tomorrow.

Well, I'd call it
a fair day's work.

Could have got
a lot more done

if I'd of had somebody
besides a farmer

on the other end
of that saw.

Your friend talks a lot
better than he cuts.

Well, it's not your fault
you're a farmer.

I'm proud to be
a farmer.

As for running
a cross-cut,

I'm as good as you ever
were, probably better.

That's pretty strong talk
coming from a farmer, boy.

Yeah, that's right.

Well, now, with
two men on one saw,

it... it isn't easy
to tell who is best.

How is it that
the loggers prove

who is champion logger?

With an ax, chopping.
You know that.


And that's why hanson's mill is
donating a watch and a blue ribbon

to the winner
of the chopping contest

on founder's day.

Prizes for the champion logger
of hero township.

I'll be there.

Yeah, I'll be there, too.

And I'm gonna win it.

your axes!

You look tired,

Not me. Can't wait
to get home

and play
with my young'uns.

As bull of the woods,

I had to learn how
to tell the truth

about the men
I worked with.

That's the reason
I had to say

that you're sure
no logger.

That's right, it's the truth.
I'm a farmer.

Yeah, with a plow
and mare,

I expect you're
pretty good.

Those are the tools
of a farmer.

But a cross-cut,
you see,

that's a tool
of a logger.

You've sure got a lot
to learn about that.

We'll see what I have
to learn about an ax.

What'd you say?

See what I have
to learn about an ax.

Day after tomorrow's
founder's day.

Oh, yeah.
Yeah, we'll see.

Well, I turn off here.

So long.





I wish pa would hurry up
and get here.

I wanna practice.

He'll be along soon.

You know, he was working
with a new man today.

He probably didn't want
to push him too hard.

Is pa the strongest man
in the world?

No, dear.
But he is strong.

I sometimes wonder

where he gets
his energy.

Girls: Hi, pa.

Sorry I'm late.

That's ok. We still have

enough time to play.

You have to help us
with the 3-legged race.

Not today, huh?

But, pa, we only have
one more day to practice.

you heard

what your
father said.

Charles, are you
all right?

Just a little tired,
that's all.

Your supper's ready.

No, no. I had a big lunch.

I think I'm just gonna
lie down for a minute.

Girls, help me serve.

How was the new man?

The strongest man
in the world is asleep.




That hurt?

Uh-uh. It feels good.

It's right up here
around my shoulders.

I'm really sore.
Oh, yeah.

That Tyler
has gotta be the...

The biggest windbag
in the world.

You told me...

3 times.

He could talk the arm
off a statue.

He modestly admits
he knows everything

there is to know
about logging.

I worked him right
into the ground,

and you know
what he said?

Yes. He said it wasn't
your fault

you were a farmer.


Well, I'll show him
come founder's day.

I'll give him
a lesson with an ax

he'll not soon forget,
I guarantee you that.

You sound like Laura.

All she can think about
is beating Nellie oleson.

You'd better talk to her
about that, Caroline.

There's a lot more
in this life

than the frantic
drive to win.

The important thing is
taking part, competing.

That's the most
important thing.

You be sure
to tell her that.

I'll tell her,


That's like ice.

My god, isn't there
no such thing

as hot liniment?

Not for such
an old fool as you.

Ice is what you deserve,
and ice is what you get.

I can beat him,
pretty girl.

Oh! That's it.
Lower, lower.

Hoo-hoo-hoo. Oh!

Hey, you know something?

Ha ha ha ha ha.

I oughta marry you.

You did, 40 years ago.

If you asked me now,
I'd say no.

Trying to beat a man
half your age at working.

Whoo! You're a stupid,
stupid man!

I can beat him, Helen.

Kill yourself trying.

Once, maybe, yes,
you could beat anybody.

But you don't stay young.

You get old
like everybody else.

Listen. I made the
swenson lumber company

what it is today.

I chopped more logs

than any man
in Minnesota.

And you and he both...

You're trying to
put me in my grave.

You can do something else

besides being bull
of the woods.

What do you
want me to do,

get a broom and sweep
out the bunkhouse?

No. But you can make
a life for yourself

without proving every day
how strong you are.

I am strong, Helen.

Yeah, you're strong.

And I'll beat him, too.

I'll beat him.

You can beat him.

You old rascal.

Good day,
Mr. Oleson.

Ah, good day,
Mrs. Ingalls.

This looks
very nice.

Ah, thank you.
Thank you very much.

Good morning.

Oh, that's going
to be so much fun...

The contests and races.

I was thinking about
your children.

You were?


Mary and Laura...

Well, I mean...

Don't feel too badly.

Some children are

just better coordinated
than others.


Well, yes.

I suppose I'm just a
doting mother, but...

Well, Nellie and Willie

are very, very good
at sports.

I suppose they
take after me.

I was very athletic
when I was a youngster.



Well, I'm sure that has
something to do with it.

You know, these things
are handed down

from generation
to generation.

I've heard that.

Hmm. Oh, well, now.
It's 28 cents.

Would you like cash,
or shall I credit?

Credit, please.


Was your mother a good cook?


My mother was the best.


Oh, I was just wondering.

We're both entering
the pie-baking contest,

and I was just wondering what
my chances would be of winning.

Well, Mrs. Ingalls,
I don't want

to discourage you,

My recipe
was handed down...

From generation
to generation.


Yes. I know, Mrs. Oleson.
Thank you. Good morning.

Good morning.

Mm, fine meal,
Mrs. Ingalls.

Delicious pie, ma.

Thank you.
There is more pie.

Don't you think
I've had enough?

Ha ha! For 3 men.

Why were you so tired
yesterday, pa?

Little sawwing contest
with Mr. Tyler.

Tomorrow we're gonna have
another contest with axes.

One of us figures to win.
He thinks it's gonna be him.

Well, you're gonna win, pop,
because you're the best.

That's my girl.

Did you girls ever have
pie at the olesons'?

Sure, ma, 3 or 4 times,
birthday parties.

Well, was there
anything special,

something you liked
better than the others?


What's this sudden interest
in the olesons' dessert menu?

Well, Mrs. Oleson and I are both
entering the pie baking contest,

and I was just curious
about the competition.

You got
to win, ma.

Yeah. We got to win

Now, just a minute.
Winning isn't everything.

The important thing is
competing and doing your best.

Your father
is right, girls.

Winning isn't

Please go to sleep.

I'm gonna get up early and
practice my hoop rolling.

If you don't get some rest,
you'll be too tired.

You know, pa's right.

Winning isn't as important as
just being in the contest...

Of course
he's right.

But I sure want to beat
Nellie and Willie.

So do I.

Good night.

Good night.


It may be wrong,
but I really want

to win that
pie baking contest.

I can
understand that.

You can?

Because I really want to win
the chopping contest...

But don't tell
the girls.

Good night.

Getting in some last-minute
practice, half-pint?

Yeah. I already helped
load the wagon.

Good girl.

You're taking 2
axes, pa?

Mm-hmm. That's right. Abner Wilson
loaned me his brand-new one.

The most important thing
in a chopping contest

is having a good sharp ax.

Charles, I need
your advice.

I can't make up my mind
which one to take.

Take them both.

I can only enter one
in the contest.

Yeah, and we can eat
the other one for lunch.

I'll decide later.

All right. Go help your mom
load the wagon.

We'll be leaving for
founder's day pretty soon.


You think that's
gonna be enough?

Are you expecting

Oh, no. But you didn't
eat very much breakfast.

Ah, my stomach.

Uh-huh. Got bumblebees
in your stomach?

My grandmother used
to call them butterflies.

or bumblebees...

What's that liniment?

It's just in case
you need it.

We can go someplace
where nobody will see.

No liniment.

Now, I'm gonna beat
that young man today, Helen.

I tell you, you're gonna
see chips fly out

that are the size
of stove lids

and twice as thick.

Gonna beat him.

Oh, Jim, win or lose,

you'll still be
the same man to me.

The man I married.

The man I love.

Oh, Jim.

It's not so bad
to grow old.

Well, we don't have to go
through the bad years again.


We have the good years
to remember,

and there are more
good than bad.

Well, yeah.

40 years married.

38 years,
bull of the woods.

How many men
can say that?

There's not too many.

Well, that's what
I'm trying to say.

You have so many fine
things to remember.

That's one nice thing
about growing old.

You don't have
to prove yourself.

You've done it
a thousand times.

Yeah, and I'm gonna
do it again today.

Just one more time, I'm gonna
be the bull of the woods.

You did all right, Edwards!


Ladies and gentlemen,

the winner of the horse
race, abner Wilson!

And that is only
the beginning.

It's only the beginning,
ladies and gentlemen.

The next event
is the rope jumpers

for the championship
of hero township

right over there!

Ha ha! And the ladies
who are

in the pie contest
had best get ready

right over there!

Good luck.

Here we go.

All right.
Will you come...


Well, Nellie!

It's all right.
I'll keep an eye on her.

You go ahead.
Good luck with the pie.


Get set.

Charles: Go, Mary!

Come on now, Willie!

Now, that's it!

All right. You're out.

That's a good boy.

That was
a good start.

Keep going, Mary!

Watch it there. Don't get
the rope tangled there.

This has been
a very difficult decision.

I have narrowed it down
to 3 choices.

Mrs. Grandy's pie
is very good.

Mrs. Oleson, this is
just excellent.

Thank you.

Mrs. Ingalls...

This is superb.

Mrs. Grandy,
this is heavenly.

Oh, thank you.

Your blue ribbon for
your magnificent pie.

Thank you, reverend.



Thank you.
Isn't it wonderful?

Well, we can be sure
that recipe

was handed down from
generation to generation.


To generation.

11 minutes and 42 seconds
so far.

Come on, Mary,
keep jumpin'!

Come on!

You're doing fine,

Keep it going.
That's fine.

Charles: Easy, Mary.
Take it easy now!

Just keep it going easy!

We're gonna have a winner
here pretty soon.

what happened there?

Are you all right?

Is it all right?


It's not too bad.

All right.

The winner and champion
rope jumper of hero township,

Willie oleson!


Oh, this is such
a grand day,

and everybody's
having so much fun.

How'd you do
in the pie contest?

Mrs. Grandy beat me.

Who's that? Who?

She's that little old lady down
there with the gray bonnet.

Oh, that one.
Hey, she's pretty.

Oh, go on.
Ha ha ha!

Come on. It wouldn't hurt
you to come down and watch.

I'm watching from
right here just fine.

You're such a stick in the mud.
Move over.


All right, contestants!

Twice around the square.

Parents, a caution
not to interfere.

I'm betting on the red
ribbons in the blue dress.

I'll take
the striped dress.

On your marks.

Get set.

Hey, come on!

Come on,
let's go, striper!

Come on,
red ribbons!

Ha ha ha!

The winner and
champion hoop roller

of hero township,

Nellie oleson.


Hey, what's
the matter, half-pint?

She bumped my hoop.

Well, I'm sure it was
just an accident.

No, it wasn't.

All the same, winning's
not the important thing.

It's competing,
having fun, right?


I'm hungry.

Come on. Let's get
something to eat.

Went down on that
ankle pretty hard.

Is it
bothering you?

A little.

If it had been
anybody but Willie.

I didn't even know
he could jump rope.

Well, he's jumping
all the time.

But I've never
seem him use a rope.

You'll be able to run in the
3-legged race, won't you?

I don't see why not.

Ladies and gentlemen,

your attention, please.

The men's tug-o-war
in 3 minutes.

Come one, come all!

Are you gonna
be in it, pa?

I don't see why not.

Come on, mother.
Pack up the things

and watch your hero.

My pa's gonna win
the tug-o-war!

Aren't you going
to be in it?

Oh, no. That's not
my kind of thing.

Mr. Ingalls is
gonna be in it.

It wouldn't hurt you.

Absolutely not.

Nels, don't you want the
children to be proud of you?

Yes, dear.

5 men over here, hanson!

You got 6 over there.

Here's just the man
we need!

No, no!
I don't think so!

I'll take your coat.

On second thought,
I think I will.


Now, you stand
right here.

That's right.

And you put
both hands on the rope.

Good boy, nels.

Now, gentlemen.

Gentlemen, get ready.

Get ready.

Get set.


Wait a minute.

Winner of the hero township

the oleson team!

I won?

I won!
Ha ha ha!

Let me...

Let me pin this on you.

Thanks for the change of clothes

and the chance
to wash up.

Saved me
a trip home.

My pleasure, Charles.

See you later.
All right.

Harriet: Here, dear.

Thank you.

Hmm. Mary.

How's the ankle?

She can't run.

She really shouldn't.
It's much too swollen.

It does look bad.

The next event,

the 3-legged race

for children and ladies!

to the line, please.

I really wanted
to be in that.

It's a shame. It can't
be helped, half-pint.

Of course, he did say
children and ladies.


Ma, you've got to.

Oh, I couldn't.

Why not? You certainly
are a lady.

Well, then I guess I can.

All right!

Let's get this shoe on.
I don't want to miss this.

Ma and me, we're gonna win
the 3-legged race.

Well, uh...

Mrs. Ingalls

Can she?

Well, I don't know
why not.

But that's not fair.
Mrs. Ingalls is a grown-up.

If she can race,
you can.

And you could win!

I know.

Well, no, but I don't
think it's proper.


don't you want the children
to be proud of you?

Are the contestants ready?


Reverend Alden?

Ready, Dr. Baker!

On your mark.

Get set.

You had a perfect chance to win!
What happened?

Oh, for heaven's sake!

What's the matter
with you? We tried.

The winners!

The 3-legged race champions
of hero county,

Mrs. Ingalls
and her daughter Laura.

There can only be
one winner.

Harriet: Well, I know,
but we should have won!

I'm very...



on your mark.

Get set.

Winner of the first heat,
Jim Tyler!


15 minutes till
the next heat, gentlemen.

You will have time
to sharpen your axes.

If you think
that will do any good.

Ha ha ha!


I told you.

Old man is still
the bull of the woods.

And not so old.

Not so old, Jim.

Not so old.

Here, pa.

Ah. Thanks,

Ahh, that's good.

Hey, don't look so sad.
It's just the first heat.

gonna win, pa.

That's my girl.

On your mark.

Get set.

The winner of
the second heat,

Charles Ingalls!


Ladies and gentleman,

the finalists for
the blue ribbon and the watch

and the championship,
Jim Tyler and Charles Ingalls!

15 minutes, gentlemen,
15 minutes.

I got him.

You sure have, pa.

He's tired. You see him
breathing after that go-round?

He looked like
a wind-broke horse.

I noticed that.

No kinda rest is gonna
help that tired.

You're gonna win the
ribbon and the watch.

You bet I am,

Where's my file? I
must have dropped it.

We'll help you
look for it, pa.

That's all right. I know where
I can find another one.

I'll be right back.

Mr. Ingalls.

Can I talk to you
for a minute?

Sure. You don't mind if
I file while you talk.

Oh, no.
You go right ahead.

Mr. Ingalls,
my husband's tired.

That makes
two of us.

Oh. No, I mean
really tired.

He wouldn't admit it,

not even to me, but...

Well, that never happened
all the years

he was bull of the woods.

Ooh, you should have
known him then.

He could out-saw,
out-chop, out-work any man,

any two men.

Never an ache or pain.

But that's not
true anymore.

And he knows it.

Every day, he feels like
he has to prove himself.

And every day, it gets
just a little bit harder.

A blue ribbon
and a watch.

Not to push
under somebody's nose,

but to... to have...

To touch.

To give him back something

that the years
have taken away from him.

That's what he wants.

A watch.

A watch that tells him

he is still
bull of the woods!

Thank you for listening.

The finalists, Jim Tyler
against Charles Ingalls!

All right, gentlemen.
On your marks.

Get set.

Go! Go get him, pa! Hurry!

Do it, Jimmy.

Faster! Faster, pa!

Ha ha ha!

The winner

and champion ax man
of hero township,

Jim Tyler!


Ladies and gentlemen,

we reward the champion
the blue ribbon

and watch donated by
the hanson lumber company!

It was a good contest.

You deserve to win.

Eh... you... you did good.

For a farmer.

Ha! Ha ha ha!


There is your watch.

Hey, half-pint,
don't look so sad.

It was fun.

I did my best.

It's time
to go home.

I'll get the wagon
hitched up.

We'll pack up
the picnic things.

They don't work
too well.



You used a borrowed ax
till the end.

Then you used
your old one.

You know,
you're right.

Why, pa?

Well, I'll tell
you half-pint,

Mr. Tyler's a good
man with an ax.

But he's a lot
older than I am.

You know,
when you get older,

you... you get tired
a lot easier.

Just like
you winning a race

with a big
head start.

It doesn't mean
anything to win

if you have
a head start.

Sure doesn't.

That's why
I switched the axes.

Just so
it would be even

'tween me
and Mr. Tyler.

Can you
understand that?

I suppose.

Mr. Tyler sure is
happy about winning.

No happier than I am
about losing.