Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 2, Episode 2 - Four Eyes - full transcript

The mysterious decline in Mary's school performance is explained when Charles discovers that she needs glasses; but the joyous self-confidence that comes with Mary's improved eyesight is ...

Willie and I are
going to be very rich

because we get 10
cents for every "a"

and a nickel
for every "b."

And I got all bs.

That's 25 cents,
but I'm going to get even more

because I got the best
grades in the whole school.

My pa says that grades
aren't everything, Nellie.

It's the learning
that counts.

Even eggs get graded.

Mary, can I help you
with something?

No, ma'am. I just have to finish
copying my notes for tomorrow's test.

Ah, yes. It's too bad we
only have one history text.

You wouldn't have to
copy so much material.

Yes, ma'am.

Mary, I'm sorry I couldn't give
you better grades this time,

but your work just wasn't up
to its usual high standard.

Yes, ma'am.

I'll try harder.

There's still 6 weeks
left to the semester

and the history

If you do well in that,
I'll take that

into consideration
in your final grade.

Thank you,
miss beadle.

Mary, if you need
extra help,

please don't
hesitate to ask.

You know
I'm available.

Pa says, if you don't do
something right the first time,

you have to try again.

Maybe I just haven't
tried hard enough.

Good-bye, miss beadle.

Good-bye, Mary.

What took so
long, Mary?

Trying to get miss beadle
to raise your grades?

she give you?

I got two bs
and 3 as.

You'd get another "a," Nellie,
if they gave a grade for being nasty.

Come on, Mary.
We don't have to talk to her.

Mary, don't worry about
a dumb, old report card.

I bet pa'd still love us if
neither one of us ever got an "a."

Nellie is right.
I did awful.

that may have been

the best mincemeat pie
you ever made.

Thank you, Charles.

Sure makes a hard day's
work a lot easier.

Sure doesn't make these
forks easier to clean.

Well, you all have
a responsibility.

Hmm. Matter of fact,
I think I have one left.

Wasn't this
report card day?

Yes, it was.

I didn't get
a report card.

Well, you will, Carrie,
as soon as you start school.

Mary: You go first, Laura.
I'll finish up.


Well, you don't look too worried.
Must be pretty good.


Hey, improved
your reading grade.

Can't take much credit for
that... all review words.

Mary does a lot
harder words than me.

Well, of course she does.
Mary's older.

You can always be proud when
you move a grade up like that.

You can be proud
if you try hard,

even if your grades don't show
it, can't you, pa?

Of course you can.

Good night, pa.

Mm. Good night,

Good night, ma.

Good night, Laura.
Sleep tight.

Good night.

You have your card
there, Mary?

Well, how did my student
do this time?

Not very well.

Aw, it can't be
that bad.

Let's see...


Well, of course,
you're going to have to take into account

your work's a lot harder
now than it was before.

You're going to have to
study a little bit more

to bring those grades back
up to where they were.

You're not mad at me?

Of course not.
I know how hard you work.

You're just going to have to try
harder, that's all.

I will, pa,
I promise.

I will try.

I know you will.

Go on, get some sleep.

Good night, ma.

Good night, Mary.

Good night, Carrie.
Sleep well.

I'd wanted to talk to you
before you saw Mary's report.

Why? Did you think I was
going to stomp and raise Cain

and everything?

No. I was just

I don't know what
accounts for it.

She's always
done so well,

and she's really been
working harder than ever.

Ah, I don't think we have
anything to worry about.

She's a smart student...
Takes after her mother.

Oh, Charles,

you know I'm no
smarter than you are.

I suppose you're right. I was smart
enough to pick you out, wasn't I?

Hey, sleepy-eyes,
come on. Time for bed.

Give me a kiss.

Come here. Come here.

You sleep good, ok?

Good night, pa.

Good night, darling.
See you in the morning.

"By the end of
Madison's administration,

"the federalist party had
practically disappeared.

Monroe's administration itself was
called the era of good feeling..."



Your side of the bed doesn't feel right.
I can't sleep.

You don't sleep on either side.
You just talk.

You know ma doesn't want
us to keep the lamp on.

Laura, I have a test tomorrow.
I have to study.

Pa says study doesn't do any
good unless you get some sleep.

Well, I can't study with you
twisting all the time, anyway.

Let's switch back.

You know
something, Mary?


This side of the bed
doesn't feel any different.

Good night, Laura.

Good night.

How you doing, Jack, huh?


Hi, half-pint.

Hi, pa.

Where's your sister?

Mary's not speaking
to me this morning.

Got out of bed on
the wrong side, huh?

No. We switched back
to our regular sides.

Charles: Mary?

Come on. You're going
to be late for school.

Hey, it's late.

What are you
doing in bed?

At this rate,
you're not going

to be at school
in time for recess.

I don't feel like
going today, pa.

What's the matter?

My head hurts.

Well, you don't seem
to have any fever.

Maybe you just need
some breakfast.

Honest, pa. I don't
feel very good.

All right. You stay
in bed and rest.

Your ma will fix you something
to eat when you feel hungry.

Thanks, pa.

I think these double-yolks
merit an extra, oh,

one penny a dozen,
Mrs. Ingalls.

Oh, thank you.
That's very nice, Mrs. Oleson.

Of course, I always feel
that merit deserves a reward.

That's always been a policy
in our household

ever since the beginning,
even with the children.

Yes, Laura told me.

I've never believed in
paying children for grades.

Grades are a reward
in themselves.

It must be working.

Willie got
very good grades,

and Nellie...

Nellie got the best grades
in the school.

How's, uh, how did
your Mary do this time?

We're proud
of our children

no matter what
their grades are.

The girls do a lot
of work around the farm.

That's part
of learning, too.

Oh, I suppose.

Of course, I believe

that it's more important
that the true scholar

have that time
to develop the mind,

and the, um,
the annual history award is coming up.

Now, don't you think
that's important, hmm?

I suppose so...

If you need it.

Just credit the eggs
to my account.

Thank you. Good day,
Mrs. Oleson.

Miss beadle?

Mrs. Ingalls, how good to see you.
Please come in.

I hope I'm not
interrupting your work.

Oh, no, not at all.
Please sit down.

Thank you.

Laura told me Mary
wasn't feeling well.

That's what I wanted
to speak with you about.

Well, she's not seriously
ill, is she?

Oh, no, no,
nothing like that.

It's about her work.

Mrs. Ingalls,
to tell you the truth,

I wish I had a classroom
full of students

that tried as hard
as Mary does.

Then what's the matter?

She's always done so well,
and now...

To tell you the truth,
I don't know.

She seems to apply
herself, but...

Well, she just doesn't
seem to be able to cover

half the material
she used to.

I was wondering if she had
something else on her mind.

You mean
like a boyfriend.

I wish it were that.
I think I could handle it.

I'm sure you could.

You know, sometimes...

A student can be doing
very well,

and then we reach the
more complicated material,

and... they seem
to flounder.

You mean you think Mary isn't smart
enough to do the advanced work.

No, I didn't say that.

I just meant that
there comes a point

when some students have to go
at a slower pace than others.

I've seen students put back
a grade and do very well.

That would break
Mary's heart.

Believe me, I know that.

That's why I haven't
said anything to her,

but I think she's begun
to realize it herself.

She hasn't said
a thing at home.

Did she tell you we had
a history exam today?

So that's why she didn't
want to come to school today.

On her last exam,
she didn't complete half of her paper.

I couldn't give her
a passing grade.

Oh, I understand that.

Well, we'll just have
to work harder.

Thank you, miss beadle.

Mrs. Ingalls,
I'll help Mary any way I can.

I know you will.
Thank you.

You're welcome.




Are you awake?

No. I'm sound

I went to see
miss beadle today.

Yeah. Why don't you tell me
about it while you go to sleep?

Charles, Mary is having
a lot of trouble.

What kind
of trouble?

She just isn't able
to keep up with the work.

Well, she's got the best teacher in
Minnesota right here in the house.

Certainly between
the two of you...

I tried to help her

Miss beadle is right.
She doesn't know half the material.

All children
have trouble

with their studies
from time to time.

Charles, Mary may have
to be kept back a year.

Miss beadle said she's
going to be left down?

She may not have
any choice.

Oh, that's not
like Mary.

I bet it's a boy.

That's what I thought,

but miss beadle says
there's no sign of that.

Mary works hard.
She just isn't able to do well.

Well, we'll talk
to her tomorrow,

see if we can find out
what the problem is.

I just wanted you
to know.

Don't worry about it.
Get some sleep.

Good night.
Good night.

Miss beadle: Class,

for those of you who are entered
in the history competition,

I've listed several dates
here on the board for review.

Now, who would like
to take the first date...

And give me
its significance?


1588. The defeat of
the Spanish armada.

It marked
the beginning

of england's power
over the seas.

Very good, Nellie.

Now, who would like
to take the second date?


In 1492, Columbus
discovered America.

That's right.

Anybody knows
that one.

He always takes
the easy ones.



All right, who would like
to take this one?

Now, I know you know it.
It was on your last assignment.


Would you like
to try this one?

I... I'm sorry, miss beadle.

I don't know the answer.


1607. The founding
of jamestown,

the first permanent
settlement in north America,

under the leadership
of captain John Smith.

That's right, Nellie.

Miss beadle says

I'll get extra credit
for my history recitations.

That's very nice,

My mother says history's
the most important subject.

That's why I'm going
to win the history award.

I know she'll give me
something nice.

Christy wants to play
two-cat. We need one more.

I can't.

I have to finish my chores
early so I can study.

Yes, you'd better study.
You haven't been doing well at all.

Be quiet, Nellie.
My sister's smarter than you any old time.

Well, I don't miss
easy questions

when miss beadle
calls on me.

Pretty please
with sugar and berries?

Oh, all right.

Yay'. Mary's
going to play'.

What are you doing
out here half-pint?

I thought it was Mary's turn
to rake up.

Well, she's got
a lot of homework.

Besides, I promised.

Oh, kind of
trading off, huh?

No, she got hurt
playing two-cat today,

and it was kinda
my fault.

Well, did you tell her
you're sorry?

Yeah, but I don't think
she thought I meant it.

Well, I think
you've done enough work

to show her you
meant it. Besides,

it's getting
chilly out here.

Thanks, pa.


I guess you know that raking
the stalls isn't my favorite.

I had that feeling.
Now, why don't you go on in the house?

Tell your ma
I'll be in in a minute.


Hey, sweetheart.
What are you still doing up?

You said you had 15 minutes of homework.
That was an hour ago.

These problems are just
taking longer than I thought.

I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to wake you.

Never mind that.
You ought to be in bed.

Please, pa. I just have
to finish this time.

Look, Mary, I know how
much this means to you,

but there's such a thing
as studying too hard.

I've never been accused
of it myself,

but if you work too
long, you get too tired.

You'll end up sitting looking
at those problems all night

and never finding
the answers.

It's just this one problem.

I can solve it in a minute.
I know I can.

Yeah, miss beadle will have a
sleepyhead in school tomorrow.

Here, let me see it.

I'm not as good at
arithmetic as your ma,

but I can usually
find the answer.

There you go.

You just got two numbers
reversed, that's all.

There. See?

Oh, yes.
I see it now.

But you couldn't see it from the
chair, could you?

I... I saw it
just fine, pa.

Then why did you come
over here to read it?

I saw them, pa.

Go stand over
by your chair.

What numbers did I
write on the slate?


I don't know.

I can't see them, pa.
I can't see them'.

Pa, how long does it take
to get to mankato?

It takes about 3 days. It's a nice
time of year to make the trip, though.

Why couldn't Dr. Baker just
order me a pair of glasses?

Mrs. Whipple got her sewing
glasses out of the catalog.

Well, I wouldn't want to try to change Mrs.
Whipple's ways,

but if a person's
going to get glasses,

they ought to have their eyes
examined, especially a young person.

Does it hurt?

No. This Dr. Burke's got
all the newest equipment.

Dr. Baker says he's about the best eye
doctor in this part of the country.

It's going to cost an awful
lot of money, isn't it?

Don't you worry
about that.

But I know how hard
you and ma work,

and there are so many
things we need.

Well, none is as important
as your eyesight.

Don't you worry about it.
We'll manage. Hyah'.

Hmm. Right.

All right, Mary.

Now, if you'll
look straight ahead...



Ok, Mary,
you can relax now.

Dr. Burke, am I going
to be all right?

Mary, to me,
a beautiful eye is a healthy eye,

and you have two of the most
beautiful eyes I've ever seen.

Thank you.

All right, Mary.
If you'll have a seat outside,

I'd like to speak
to your father.

Mr. Ingalls?

Thank you.

Have a seat, please.

Thank you.

Mr. Ingalls,
you'll be happy to know

Mary has nothing wrong
with her eyes

a simple pair of glasses
won't correct.

I am happy to hear that.
She's been having a lot of trouble.

Well, it's mainly
from eye strain...

Tired eye muscles from
going without help so long.

What I can't understand is
why she didn't say anything.

She didn't tell us.

Well, same reason
people don't come to me

till they're in
really bad shape.

Fear, sometimes.

Many times, poor eyesight
comes on so gradually,

they just don't realize
their eyes are bad,

especially with children.

How did she manage
for so long?

Oh, little tricks... squinting
when the eyes are tired.

Ever see her push back on the
sides of the eyes like this?

She probably did.
I just didn't realize it.

Mm-hmm. Well,
with the amount of schoolwork she has,

the tricks stopped
working, that's all.

You'd think her ma or
I would have noticed.

No, not so.

Been my experience,
parents are the last ones to notice.

Maybe one day,
they'll have sense enough

to examine kids
when they start school,

and we can avoid
the problem.

Well, if you'll get
your daughter,

we'll show her
a whole new world.


You're about to have an
experience you'll always remember.

I can see it, pa.

I can read it all.

I bet if I had that slate,
you could read it now.

I could read anything.

But you're going to have to
wear your glasses all the time...

For a month, anyway...

Until the eye muscles have had a
chance to regain their strength.

I will, Dr. Burke.
You can count on it.

No cheating, now.

Later on, you can use them
just for your schoolwork, ok?


Thank you, pa.

Thank you, doctor.

My pleasure.

Everything looks
so beautiful, pa'.

just beautiful'.

That it is, sweetheart.

Pa, look'.

Look at them go'.

I never saw
so many birds.

I got a feeling
there's a lot of things

you're going to see
you never saw before.

Me, too, pa.

I didn't think it was
going to be so different.

You know,
I just love my glasses.

I just love you.


Ma'. Ma'.

Pa's back'. Pa's back'.

Charles: Whoa.

Welcome home, pa'.

Mary'. I didn't expect
you home so soon.

Well, you can credit a couple
of hungry Ingalls for that.

Hi, lovey.

Oh, Mary, your glasses
are so attractive.

Thanks, ma.

They make you look smart
like miss beadle.

That they do.

You girls hurry
in the house

and get washed up for supper.
I'm starving.

Yes, pa.

They sure are pretty.

Should have seen her
on the way home.

It was like she was looking at
the world for the first time.

Oh, I'm so happy for her.
She is going to be all right, isn't she?

Doctor said she'd see twice
as well with those glasses.

Twice as well?

Of course,
I couldn't handle that.

You're far too pretty to
me just the way you are.

I'll unhitch the team.

Oh, Charles.

Come on, Willie.
We'll be late for school.

I'm coming.

Morning, Nellie.

Well, look at
miss four-eyes.

♪ Mary has four eyes,
four eyes ♪

You be quiet, Willie.

Well, Mary
has four eyes...

Two real ones
and two glass ones.


And you're going to have
two black ones.

It's all right, Laura.
Never mind.

My mother said your pa took
you to mankato to get glasses,

but I never thought you'd
have the nerve to wear them.

What do you mean,

Oh, nothing. Just I would
never wear the ugly things.

Miss beadle wears glasses,
and she's not ugly.

She doesn't have
a husband, either,

and Mary's going to be an old
spinster just like miss beadle

because no one ever
marries a four-eyes.

Well, no one will ever marry you
because you say such nasty things.

Come on, Laura.
Let's go inside.

Nyah'. Nyah'.

Queen Isabella
furnished money

for Columbus to discover
the new world.

Very good, Nellie.

My mother says queen Isabella's
more important than Columbus.

Well, I think that depends on
how you look at it, Nellie.

Uh, Mary, would you like
to take the next one?

Yes, ma'am.


Now, I think that will
be enough of that.

Mary, I hope you find
your glasses to be

as much of a comfort
as I do my own.

Yes, ma'am.

Now, would you like
to take the next one?

Magellan, ferdinand.

The first explorer
to... Circum...


The first man to sail all
the way around the world.

That's very good.

You seem to have caught up
on your studies.

Yes, ma'am.

I read a lot on the
way back from mankato.

I hope this means that you'll take
part in the history competition.

Thank you,
miss beadle.

While we're on the subject,
you all might do well

to review the dates
you were given last semester.

You'll be responsible for all
the material we've covered.

Now, use the next few minutes
before recess for a study period.

Mary. Mary,
it's getting late.

Do you have
much more to do?

I just need a couple more minutes.
Then I'll be finished.

Good. Now,
I saw miss beadle in town today.

She says your work
has improved

a great deal in
the past few days

since you got
your glasses.

I've just about
caught up.

That's good.

Your pa and I are
so proud of you.


If my schoolwork hadn't
gotten better with my glasses,

would you and pa
be ashamed of me?


We love you.

But you are
a fine student,

and you're going to
make a fine teacher...

Just like
miss beadle.

Oh, listen to me.

Here I am,
chattering like a magpie,

keeping you
from your work.

Good night.

Good night, ma.

You finish that little
bit, and then off to bed.

Yes, ma.
All right.

Just like miss beadle.

Here she comes.
Quick, hide them.

We're playing a new
game called "guess who."

Guess who?

Yes. We all do an imitation
of someone we know

and have to guess who it is.
Willie's turn.

Guess who I am.

Nyah, nyah.

♪ Mary has four eyes ♪

♪ Mary's got
four eyes ♪

♪ Nyah, nyah,
nyah, nyah ♪

Willie'. Willie,
I told you not to call my sister names'.

Hi, pa'.

Hi, half-pint.

Can I meet Jennifer for
fishing and do my chores after?

You got any homework?


All right, go ahead.
But don't be too long.

I won't'.

What was that all about,
as if I didn't know?

Sometimes I think I should have been
a fisherman instead of a farmer.

Hi, Mary.



Is there anything wrong?

Mary, why aren't you
wearing your glasses?

I... I lost them.

You lost them?


In the schoolyard,
I guess.

You're supposed
to be wearing them.

I'm sorry, pa.
I took them off at recess.

I was afraid
I'd break them.

I didn't mean
to lose them.

Where did you put them?

In my pocket.

When I started inside,
they were gone.

I looked everywhere.

It's too late to do
anything about it now.

You look again first
thing in the morning.

Yes, sir, I will.

And ask the rest of the
children and miss beadle.

Yes, pa.

I... I'd better go
do my homework.

Mary: Pa?

I'm sorry.

So am I.

It'll be harvest time before I
can get another pair of glasses.


Hi, Mary.

Don't tell me
you're heading off

to school
this early.

Ma got us out early
to look for the glasses.

Sounds like a good idea.

Pa, if I don't find my glasses,
you don't have to buy me another pair.

What kind of thing
is that to say?

I don't deserve
another pair.

I lost them.
It was my fault.

Everybody makes
mistakes, Mary.

You told me not to take
them off, and I did.

I don't think I should be
allowed to have another pair.

I'll think about it,
all right?

Why don't you hurry up?
Maybe you'll find them.

Yes, sir.


Lots of people
wear glasses.

Even miss beadle
wears them.

Yeah, I know.
I better hurry up.

"In 1846,

"the cape of good hope
was discovered.

"The Portuguese seemed likely to be
the ones who would answer the question,

ho w sha ll we rea ch
the indies?"

Thank you, Christy.

Mary, would you take the next
passage, please?

Nellie: Four-eyes is going
to read for us.


Which passage,
miss beadle?

The third one.

I'm sorry, Mary.
We won't have time to have you read.

It's lunchtime.

For those of you who are interested
in entering the history competition,

I must have your name
on this piece of paper.

I'll have the questions on the
board when you return from lunch.

All right, you may go.


Yes, miss beadle?

Laura, do you know why
Mary hasn't signed up

for the history

She has a very good
chance of winning.

She doesn't think she does,
not since she lost her glasses.

Oh. I wondered why she
wasn't wearing them.

I guess it'll take a little while
before pa can afford another pair.

Yes, I understand.
All right, that's all.

Yes, ma'am.

Boy'. You ought to see
all those questions

she's putting
on the board.

Nobody's ever going to
finish all those questions.

I will, because mother's been
asking me questions every night,

and I haven't missed one
in ever so long.

Well, maybe she just didn't ask
you the right questions, Nellie.

My mother's the best
teacher in walnut grove,

and she's going
to give me a dollar

when I win the history
award and prove it.

I sure wish you hadn't
lost those glasses.

Then you could beat her.
You'd beat her real good.

I don't care. It doesn't matter.
I'm getting off.


Hello, blue eyes.

Good... good morning.

My goodness.

Walnut grove certainly has more
than its share of beautiful ladies.

Thank you.

Um, you wouldn't happen
to be able to tell me

where I might find
your schoolteacher?

Miss beadle?


Yes. She's inside.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

There you go,
blue eyes.

Thank you.


Oh, miss blue eyes.

I... I just came in to put
my flower in some water.

I see you've met
Mr. Stacey.

Well, not formally.

Mary Ingalls,
this is John Stacey.

Mr. Stacey's a lawyer
from over in Springfield.

What she isn't telling you
is, I'm her Beau,

and she's very lucky that I
didn't meet you first, blue eyes.

Miss beadle:
Oh, John.

I'm pleased to meet you.

It's my pleasure, Mary.

Eva, don't keep anyone
after school today,

because I'll be waiting.

All right, John.

Mary, I'd like
to apologize.

I didn't know
anyone was here.

Is he really your Beau?

I think he's nice.

So do I.

Miss beadle?


Is it too late for me
to take the history exam?

Of course not.

We still have 5 minutes
before we begin.

Thank you, miss beadle'.

Maybe I can keep
my flower with yours.

Thank you, miss beadle.

Laura: Pa'.


Down here, half-pint.

What you doing?

You should have seen her, pa.
She was great.

Mary won
the history award'.

What? She won it?

Nellie's so mad.

Mary answered

Well, where is she?

She's coming.
I ran ahead.

I got to tell ma'.

Hey, scholar'.

Let me see
that certificate.

That's pretty impressive.


Thank you.

You don't look too happy for
somebody who just won an award.

I didn't
lose them, pa.

I hid them
in an old log...

So I wouldn't
have to wear them.

Nellie kept calling
me four-eyes.

I'm sorry I lied.

I kind of thought it was
something like that.

Ah, come here.

I know you didn't
want to lie.

That old saying isn't true,
is it, about sticks and stones?

Names do hurt.

They sure do.

I know they do.

But you got
the certificate.

So no more tears,
all right?

All right.

I think we ought to take
it home and show your ma.

You keep going
the way you are,

you're going to be as good
a teacher as miss beadle.

That's right, pa.

Just like
miss beadle.

Come on.