Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 1, Episode 5 - The Love of Johnny Johnson - full transcript

Friction results between the Ingalls sisters when young Laura falls hard for handsome Johnny Johnson who, in spite of all her efforts to get him to see her as more than just a little girl, seems to only have eyes for older Mary.

Laura: Let's have
a relay race!

Boy: Let's choose sides.

Boy: I choose Laura Ingalls.

Hey, Laura.

Laura, come on.
I chose you.

What about me?

You're too fat to run.

Boy: Give it to me!



All that running
made me thirsty.

You run pretty good
for a girl.

Is it John Johnson?

Is that your
formal name?

No, ma'am.
It's Johnny.

Johnny. Is it?

Laura, voice-over: His name
was Johnny Johnson.

I knew just how he felt
standing up there...

Shy and scary,
with everybody staring...

Even worse than the first day
Mary and I came to school,

because he was all alone.

Why don't you look
at this book?

Look at
the first chapter.

He looks like a scarecrow
in somebody's garden.

Miss beadle:
All right.

You can take this seat
right here in front.

All right.

Miss beadle: Let's begin
our day with reading.

would you like to start?

Start right here.

Patrick: "By sea and streams
and fields and woods

"the wild birds rear
their little broods.

"Look for their nest,
but do not take.

"Nests are such
tiresome things to make.

"What pretty love
and tender care were spent

"those warm nests
to prepare.

"Look and admire
as well you may,

but never take
the eggs away."

That's very good,

That deserves
a gold star.

Thank you, ma'am.

Laura, I think
you're next.


Stop daydreaming.
Miss beadle called on you.

Want to start
right here?

"By sea and streams
and fields and woods

"the wild birds rear
their little broods.

"Look for their nest,
but do not take.

"Nests are such
tiresome things to make.

"What pretty love
and tender care were spent

"those warm nests
to prepare.

"Look and admire
as well as you may,

but never take
the eggs away."

That's very good,

Come on, Laura.

What a slowpoke
you are today.

I'm tired.

You wouldn't be if you didn't
play rough boys' games.

Now what?

I just want to see if there
are any more initials

on the sweetheart tree.

Who cares?

Carving on a tree
is plain silly.

I'd be furious if any boy
put my initials up there.

Come on. We've got
chores and homework to do.

I got a pebble
in my shoe.

Why, it's
Johnny Johnson.

I didn't know you lived
out our way, Johnny.

Yeah. I, uh...

I take this road as far as
the Morgan turnoff.

We go farther, so we
can walk together.

Maybe he doesn't
want to.

This is
my sister Mary.

How do you do?

I'm ready.
Let's go.

All right.

You use a rope better than
most any boy I ever saw.

Ha ha ha!

Well, I get
lots of practice

herding the stock
to pasture and back.

That's all
you use... a rope?

Ha ha! Of course not.

I got a big stick
to get after them with.

Like miss beadle
gets after some of the boys

with her ruler.

Ha ha ha!

You know, uh...

Miss beadle
seems real nice.

She said she'd help me
all she could.

You know, me being
late starting and all.

She will, too.

And anybody who studies
hard can go ahead

just as fast
as they can.

Well, seems to me you did

just about everything
right today, Mary.

You must study
real hard.

Ma taught Mary a lot
before she started school.

Our ma used to
be a teacher.

I want to be
a teacher, too.

Well, that's
a mighty fine ambition.

Golly, my mind's jumping
like a jackrabbit

from all the things
miss beadle said today.

Let's see who's
the best rock thrower.

All right.
You go first.

I'll try for that tree
over yonder.

Ha! You hit it!

Very good.

All right, Mary.

Here. You go next.

Oh, I'm no good
at throwing rocks.

Oh, go on.

You never know when you're going
to have to hit a varmint.

Now, go on. Try that
tree right over there.

That's not bad, Mary.
Not bad at all.

But you're going to have to
throw a little harder now.

Here. See, now, you have
to keep your arm straight.

Come on. We got chores
and homework to do.

More music, papa!

Caroline: It's time for you
to dance to bed.

Play one more song,
pa. Please.

My audience commands.

I'll play one guaranteed
to put Carrie to sleep.


You have
too much energy.


Would you tell me what it was
like back in the olden days

when you and pa
were courting?

I don't think
I can remember

that far back
in history.

You know what I mean.

Did you know right off
that you loved him?

I think so.

Did he know, too?

I'm not sure.

Your pa was
never one

for making sheep's eyes
at girls.

Why, he was so shy...

I didn't even know
if he liked me.

Well, how'd you
find out for sure?

Well, I finally decided
if I waited for him,

I might never find out.

So even though it was
considered very forward

for young ladies
to do the asking,

I invited him
on a picnic.

And what did he say?

Uh, he said, uh...

"Don't mind if I do,"

which wasn't exactly the
response I was looking for.

But on that picnic,

we found out that
we were kindred spirits.

What's a kindred spirit?


That means you can read
each other's thoughts

without putting them
into words.

Good night, honey.

Sleep tight.

Good night, Carrie.

Carrie: Good night.


Go to sleep.

What did you think
of Johnny Johnson?

Didn't think
much of anything.

He sure throws rocks good.

Who wants
to throw rocks?

I think he's like pa.

Why, he's downright
homely compared to pa.

I think he's the best-looking
boy in the whole school.

That's not
saying much.

Go to sleep, Laura.

Can't. Have to go out back.

Hey, isn't it about time
you were in bed?

I have to go
to the outhouse, pa.

Oh. That's different.

Pa... would you tell
me way, way back

when ma asked you
to go on a picnic,

what did you think?

Now, who told you
about that?

Ma told me.

Oh, she did, did she?


What did you think?

Now, you promise
not to tell?

Cross my heart.

All right.

Well, I knew your ma
would just die of a broken heart

if I didn't go along,

so I accepted and then hoped
to heaven she was a good cook.

You're teasing.

No, I'm not.

Didn't you ever hear
the way to a man's heart

is through his stomach?

Hey. Falling star.

Oh, I missed it.

Well, I'll
tell you what.

I already have
everything I want,

so I'll give you my wish.

But don't you have to see
the star to get your wish?

Mm-mm. I saw it, and I'm
giving my wish to you.

Oh. The way you're scrunching
your eyes together,

it must be a pretty
important wish.

Got it?


Ok. You run on out back.

But I don't have
to go anymore, pa.

Well, then you
better get to bed.

Oh, pa,
I do love you.

I love you, too.

Off to bed.
Have a good sleep.

You, too, pa.

Christy, your word
is "puzzle."

Puzzle, p-u-z-z-l,

I'm sorry. That's wrong.


Puzzle, p-u-z-z-l-e,

That's correct.

Nellie, your word is "whistle."

Whistle, w-h-i-s-l-e,

I'm sorry, Nellie.
That's wrong.


Whistle, w-h-i-s-t-l-e,

That's correct.
That makes you the winner

for the week,
and you get a gold star.

Well, it's
a few minutes early,

but I think I'll dismiss
the class anyway.

Have a nice weekend,

but not so nice that
you forget to do your homework.

- Johnny.
- Yes, ma'am?

I believe it's your turn
to clean the blackboards.

Yes, ma'am.


Did you wish to speak
to me about something?

Well, I, uh...

I wanted...

I hope you have
a good time, too.

Thank you, Laura.

Wait a minute, Mary.


I remember I forgot something.
I have to go back.

Oh, fiddle.

You really are
a flutterbudget.

I'll go with you.

Oh, no. You don't
have to come.

You can wait here.
I'll run all the way.

We're having a picnic
at cattail lake tomorrow.

The fishing's real good.

See you
out there... Early!


Don't worry, Johnny.
I'm a good cook.

Do you want to come?

Don't mind if I do.

Just like pa.


You gave me a start,
sneaking up on me like that.

What do you mean,

Book of etiquette says when
you're kissed by a man,

you're supposed
to kiss him back.

Oh, it does?

Yes. That's the Charles
Ingalls book of etiquette.

Hi, Jack!

Oh, pa, thank you!

For what, half-pint?

For a wish
that's come true.

Don't look at me.
She's your daughter.

We've got to get
that kerosene can refilled.

Yes. Let's see.
We need Navy beans...

- All right.
- Flour...

Uh, salt, tea...

And, uh, let's have
a little white sugar.

All finished, ma.

Spick-and-span or just
a lick and a promise?

I even found
that ribbon I lost.

It was way, way
under the bed.

Where else would it be?

Can I take along
the oatmeal cookies?


You're really in a hurry
this morning, half-pint.

You say the fish
bite best early.

What are you going to use
for bait... oatmeal cookies?

'Course not.
Grubs and worms.

It's an awful big lunch
for one little girl.

Well, fishing makes
me real hungry.

Bye, ma. Bye, pa.

You be careful.

What about the door?

Johnny: Hey, there!

Oh, hi!


This is Jack.

Hi, Jack. How you doing?

He's a good one.

My pa had to
go into town,

so I had some
extra chores to do.

That's all right.

Gave me time to find
some fat grubs.

Yeah, I guess.

Um... mary didn't
wait, huh?

No. She'd
rather stay home

with her nose in one
of her schoolbooks.


You know, I reckon that's
why she's so smart.

You know, I bet she'll win
that gold medal

for the best student,
don't you think?

Now, if we don't
get started,

we won't even
get a bite.

Hey, you got one!

Golly, Moses, Laura!

That's the biggest one yet!


Hey, that was
really smart,

the way you let him
swallow up your bait

rather than yanking
on him really quick.

Yeah. He's a big'un!

Boy, Laura, you know,
you ain't nothing

like the other girls.

I'm not?

No! You're...
You're different.

You really think so,

Sure, I do.

You know, I don't know any
other girl in the whole school

who can put a wiggly worm
on the hook the way you do.

What a pretty song...

Squirrels playing
and fish jumping.

This is such
a cheerful place.

At times like this,

I feel all warm
and sparky inside.

You ever feel
that way, Johnny?

Hey. It sure was
good fishing.

It was good lunch, too.

Hey. You got any more of them
fine oatmeal cookies left?

You ate them all.

Oh. Well, here's
your catch, Laura.

You want some
of mine?

Oh, no, no, no.
It's just my pa and me.

I think this is fine.

Well, I got to be going.

Bye-bye, Jack.

Oh. Hey, Laura.

Will you do me
a favor?


Will you tell Mary that
if that Harry Baker

keeps on pestering her
that I'll be glad

to teach him some
manners, all right?

Well, Harry pesters
all the girls.

He pesters me, too!

Well, you ought to cuff
him one on the ear then.

I'll see you.

Jack, you come back here!

Laura, voice-over:
It was a rotten picnic,

not like ma finding out
she and pa were kindred spirits

who could read
each other's thoughts.

All that I learned
about Johnny was

that he could eat a lot
of oatmeal cookies.

Ma said you could tell
each other's thoughts.

Well, as much
as any man can read

any woman's
thoughts, I guess.

Can I ask a couple questions
about what men think?

Mm-hmm. Why not?

Ma's smart. Do men like
smart girls the best?

Uh, some do.

Some like them
sweet and gentle.

Some like them
full of vinegar.

Your ma's kind of all those
things rolled into one.

What did you like
best about ma?

Well, I think what
I liked best about her

was she knew when to be
quiet and not ask a bunch

of silly questions
while a man was working.

Just one more, pa.

All right. One more.

Did you like any other girls
before you liked ma?

Did you ever put yours and her
initials on a sweetheart tree?

Well, that's 2
questions, half-pint.

As for the initialing,

I don't think I did,
although I would have

if I would have
thought of it.

As for whether I liked
any other girls,

I wouldn't answer that
question for you or your ma.

Now, run along,

let me finish
Carrie's highchair, huh?

Has Laura
been asking you

some funny questions

She asked me how we met,

about our courtship.

Well, I'll be darned.

When I was out
by the barn working,

she was asking me
the same kind of thing...

What men like
about women.

- Really?
- Yeah.

Don't suppose she's got a little
case of puppy love, do you?

- Laura?
- Mm-hmm.

Well, Charles...

I can remember
chasing somebody

when I was younger
than Laura is.

I even remember slowing
down so you could catch me.

Ha ha!

You know...

I thought what
reverend Alden said

about the missions
in China was interesting.

I hope he tells us more
next Sunday.

What did you
think, Laura?

I thought the sermon
was too long.

Well... why?

Because my legs
went to sleep.

Hey, half-pint.

If I have this
fish trap finished

by the time you get
done collecting eggs,

you can help me
put it in the creek.

Ok, pa.

It's Johnny Johnson!


Carrie's asleep.

Well, if it isn't
Johnny Johnson.

Hey, I was just
telling your pa here

he don't need to work
on that fish trap

the way you
catch fish, Laura.

Want to help us set it
up at the falls, Johnny?

Well, hey,
I'd sure like to.


Only I don't know
if I can.

Why not?


You see, I came here
to ask a favor.

What kind of favor?


You see, I'm getting
really behind

in these reading
words, you know?

And that makes
the homework awfully hard.

So I was figuring on maybe
asking Mary to help some.

You know, I mean, her wanting
to be a teacher and all,

maybe she
wouldn't mind.

If it's all right,
that is.

It's fine with me.

You don't think
she'd mind?

I mean, you know, taking her
away from her studying and all.

Only one way
to find out.

Go on to the house
and ask her.

Yes, sir.
Thank you very much.

A nice boy.

Why don't you cut me some
more lengths of string, huh?

Got to collect
the eggs.

Johnny: Hey, Mary.


Oh, hi, Johnny.

Hi. Mary,
I was wondering

if you'd help me with
my reading words a little bit.

Sure. Come on in.

I'd appreciate it.

Mind the mush,
please, Mary.

Mush meat, Mary.

Yes, ma.

- Ma?
- Mm-hmm?

Can I wear my blue Sunday
ribbons to school today?

Please, may I.

Please, may I?

Provided you remember to
wear them home again.

I will.


Morning, pa.

Charles: Morning,

Morning, pa.

Wait a minute.
I'll fetch the water, Mary.

It's not your turn.

Well, you'll have to
owe me a turn sometime.

After all,
I am the fastest runner.

We don't want to
be late for school.

First time we ever heard her
fighting to do the chores.

My favorite subject
was recess.

I can remember one time
getting my knuckles rapped

by the teacher
during arithmetic.

The problem was,
"it is now 9:30.

"Recess is at 10:45.

How long is it
till recess?"

An hour
and 15 minutes.

That's correct.

But my answer
was "too long."


I never said
I was a good student.

Laura: I fell in the creek.


Are you hurt?

I'm not hurt, ma.

Here's the water.

We didn't need quite
that much water, half-pint.

Now, you go on upstairs
and get some dry clothes on.

There's only
your Sunday dress.

I'll be careful
of it, ma.

You better. It's
the only good dress you got.

You're not
to get it torn playing

any rough-and-tumble games.


I promise, ma.

- There's ma!
- There's ma!

Mary: Ma!

Did you come
to visit school?

No. I just came
to say hello to miss beadle.

How nice!

Why don't you 2 girls
run on and play?

Recess is almost over now.

Come sit up here.

I gather this is more
than a social visit.

Uh, yes, it is.

- Oh, this is lovely.
- Thank you.

Are you worried
about Laura?

Yes, I am.

Yes. I am, too.

She's such
a good student,

but lately...

Well, she just hasn't
been doing the kind of work

she should be doing.

She's distracted.
She's inattentive.

Boy struck'?

I'm afraid so.

Johnny Johnson?

He's a new boy,
started school a few days ago.

He's a nice boy,

but I'm afraid he's just
not interested in Laura.

He asked Mary to help
him with his reading.

Yes. Mary's been very polite
and very helpful,

but I'm afraid she's not
interested in Johnny Johnson.

I don't know if that
makes the problem easier

or more difficult.

From what I can remember
from my teaching days,

these first loves
are like a heat rash...

Quickly come
and quickly gone.

I wouldn't worry
about it.

But if it will
make you feel any better,

I do intend to talk to Laura
about her homework.

Thank you, miss beadle.

You're welcome,
and don't worry.

Harry, no!

Somebody stop him!

Hey, don't do that!
He didn't do nothing to you!

Johnny: Give me that!

Give it back!
It's mine!

Johnny! Harry!
Come in here this instant!

Now see what
you've done?

You've got them
both in trouble.

Why didn't you just grab
the slingshot

instead of squealing for
Johnny to take notice

and come to your rescue?

Well, if that isn't a pot
calling the kettle black!

You're the one always trying
to get him to take notice.

I don't give a hoot for your
dumb old Johnny Johnson.

He's not dumb!

And just for that, you can
walk home by yourself!

Johnny: Hey, Laura!


Thought you had
to stay after school.

Just to get
my new reader.

You finished
the old one?

- Yeah.
- You sure are fast.

Well, I couldn't have done
it without Mary's help.

She sure is
a good teacher.

Come on. Let's
catch up and tell her.

Well, ain't
you coming?

Is something wrong?

Just tuckered.


Well, I'll
see you tomorrow.

Hey, Mary!

Wait a minute!

No pictures. Letters.


No, Carrie. We're going
to make letters now.

- Pictures.
- Letters!

- Pictures!
- Letters!

Let her draw!

Why do you always have to
spoil everything anyway?

I don't know what
you're talking about.

You do, too.

We used to always have
fun walking home.

Now all you do is show
off playing teacher.

Don't be silly.

I'm not being silly.

And you're two-faced,
Mary Ingalls,

saying one thing
behind Johnny's back

and acting another
to his face!

It wasn't my idea
to play teacher. It was his!

You're just a foolish...

Shut up!

You just shut up!

Laura! I don't want you to
speak to your sister that way,

nor to anyone else!

All right.
Now, what's this all about?

Just a little argument.

Well, nothing is solved
by shutting off

the other person's argument.

Now, Laura, I want you
to hear your sister out.


I sent
the girls outside...

So we can have
a private talk.

Saying what's right isn't
taking anybody's part.

Now, I'm going to tell you
just what I told Mary.

Quarrels would
never last long

if there was only
one person at fault.

I want you both
to think on that

and to make up.

Yes, ma.

What's really
bothering you?

Nothing. Honest.

That's not honest,

Do you think you're
the only little girl

who ever felt this way?

Both your pa and I felt
just as you do once.

But everything
was working out fine

when you and pa
were courting.

No. I mean earlier,
before that,

when we were younger,
when we were your age.

We had our share
of heartaches.

Well, it's hard thinking
of you and pa little.

I suppose it is...

But the farther you
get away from it,

why, we can even
look back now and laugh,

just as you will be able
to laugh at this one day.

You'll see.

It's all part of growing
up to be a woman.

I don't think I want
to grow up to be a woman.

- It hurts.
- Oh!

Well, nobody grows up
all the way.

There's a little girl
inside every woman,

just as there's a woman
inside every little girl.

And you mustn't be
afraid to hurt

because that's
a part of life.

Hurt is something
to measure happiness by.

It's like valleys
and mountain peaks.

Without them both,

the world would be flat
and uninteresting.

With me
it's all valleys.

I keep trying
to think of ways

to make Johnny
like me better,

but none of them
seem to work.

Honey, one of the biggest
mistakes that people make

is trying
to change themselves

so that somebody
else will like them.

In a way, that's
a kind of a lie.

Deep down
inside of all of us

there's a sense
of trueness

telling us
who we really are.

Both your pa and I want you
to be your own true self

because we
love you, Laura.

I remember he liked me
the best the first day.

He said I was
a pretty good runner.


Now, will you come down and
give me a hand with supper?

- Ma?
- Hmm?

I jumped in the creek.

I know that.

She was just as cute
as she could be,

trying to figure out ways
to get that boy to like her,

and all the time,
he was smitten with Mary.

I thought he just wanted Mary
to help him with his reading.

Oh, that was
just an excuse.

How old is he?

I don't know. 14, 15.

Well, why doesn't he get
miss beadle to help him?

That's what
she's there for.

Mary was just
trying to be nice.

Well, I don't like it.

Why, Charles Ingalls!

You said yourself
what a nice boy he is.

Well, that's when
I thought he was a boy!

He's 15 years old,

That's not a boy anymore.
That's a man.

You know what a fella's like
when he's 15 years old?

No, Charles.
You tell me.

What were you like
when you were 15?

Go see to the stock.

I know it looks difficult,
but just think it through.

You can do it.

That's right.

Meet me by
the sweetheart tree.


After school, meet me
by the sweetheart tree.

Oh, yes.


Sure is a beautiful
old tree, isn't it?

Yeah... sure is.

Must be, oh...

A hundred years old,
don't you think?

I guess.

Are there rings inside
to tell for sure?

Oh... ha!

I suppose.

I don't know much
about trees.

How many names
do you figure are on it?


Looks like
a whole mess.

Some boys do it
in secret.

Well, I reckon it's
because they're scared.

But you're not scared.

You asked me right out
to meet you here.



You're different, Laura.

I know.

I'm a pretty good
runner for a girl.

I'm not fussy about putting
wiggly old worms on hooks.

No. It's...
It's more than that.

You seem...

Well, a fella can...
Can say things to you that...

Well, he'd be kind
of embarrassed

to say to somebody else,
you know?

You seem to understand
the way I feel.

Kindred spirits.

Show me what you carved,
Johnny. Please?

All right.

Well, what do you think?

I figured you could tell me,

you being so close
to her and all.

How do you think
she'll like it?


Caroline, you sure have a way
with buffalofish.

Never did understand
where they got so many

funny names for fish...

Buffalofish, catfish...

Even butterfish.

Well, I can tell you where
they got the name bullhead.

Now, that's the stubbornest fish
I ever did try to catch.

Caroline: Heh.

How was school today?

It was fine, pa.

Mary: Not for me.

I'll be the laughingstock

of every girl
in school tomorrow,

all because of that numskull
Johnny Johnson.

Caroline: What on earth?

Why, he seemed
like such a nice lad.

He sneaked off and put my name
on the sweetheart tree

for everybody
to gape at.

"Johnny loves Mary."

And I don't
even like him!

Willie's right.

He looks
like a scarecrow,

and he's addlebrained, as well.

How could you
be so mean?

He's the best runner and
roper in the whole school!

You're the numskull!

Why don't you
let me go?

Sometimes when
you lose one man,

it helps to talk
to another one.

It's not fair, pa.

She doesn't care
a hoot about him,

and it's her name
he put on the tree.

I could have died.

It was the most
tragical thing

that ever happened
in my whole life.

Kind of like that time we
lost that old dog Jack, huh?

Jack found us again.

And Johnny will
find you again.

You think he will?

Why, sure, he will.

You know, I remember
when I was a boy,

I knew this little gal.

She had pigtails
and freckles.

She was about
4 years younger than me,

which is like a hundred
when you're 15.

Johnny's 15.


I used to call her

because she was always chasing
after me all the time.

I didn't pay her
any mind.

Then all of a sudden
one day,

I noticed a whole bunch of
boys buzzing around her

like bees to honey.

I took a good look
at her,

and I realized
that she had blossomed

into about the prettiest
thing I'd ever seen.

I figured she'd
take to me right off

but she couldn't
see me for dust.

Her name was Caroline.



And you're
just like her.

Just like her.

You wait and see.

One of these days you're
going to have lots of beaus.

I wouldn't
be surprised

if Johnny Johnson's one
of them, sweet thing.

I'm not
a sweet thing, pa.

I blamed it all on Mary,

and it wasn't
even her fault.

I said wicked things
to her on purpose.

I meant to be hurtful,

but it didn't stop
my hurting.

Well, you learned
a lesson.

Hurting back
doesn't help.

There's lot of ways
to make amends.

I guess I was jealous.

Oh, so was I.

You, pa?


Some young sprout

was trying to steal
my best girl.

Oh, pa!

I love you.


If you're going to grow up
to be as pretty as your ma,

I think we ought
to get you home

and give you
some supper.

Ha ha!