Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 4, Episode 20 - A Most Precious Gift - full transcript

An misinterpreted remark from husband Charles plants a seed of worry in newly pregnant Caroline Ingalls that he will be disappointed if the baby isn't a boy.

Pa! Pa!

Pa! Look what I found!

Hey, what you got
there, darling?


Oh, no, honey.
You shouldn't have done that.

Wild birds aren't
like chickens.

But I didn't mean

I'll put them back.

I'm afraid they're
not going to hatch.

They'll be too cold
without their mama.

All because of me?

Hey, don't feel
so bad.

It wasn't your fault.
You didn't know.

I know!
I'll be their mama!


I can keep them warm
under my pillow.

Then they'll come out.

I'm afraid
that won't work.

It'll work, pa.

They never saw
their real mama.

I'm going to go
put them

under my pillow
right now.

Sometimes I think
I'm dreaming.

I mean,
just when you think

your life is totally planned
out, something happens,

and you find yourself
completely unprepared.

I mean, I never even
expected to be married.

You have nothing
to worry about.

As far as children
are concerned,

you have more experience
than any of us.

Oh, Caroline,
by the time they come to me,

they're 5 years old.
Their lives are already formed.

Even Luke was
practically a young man

when I married
his father.

He wasn't exactly
in need of diapers.

So, now you're
starting from scratch.

Oh, yeah.

Don't worry.

Everybody's scared
their first time.

I know I was.

Oh, Caroline,
were you really?


Until the moment

Then it was...
Beautiful, natural.

In some ways,
I envy you,

just starting out.

Oh, Caroline,
we're practically the same age.

Oh, I know,

but Mary's...
A young woman, and...

It's lucky for me
she is.

I'd like to work right
up until the last minute,

but, well, it's nice to
know I have her to rely on

in case I have to
stop sooner.

I think she's more
excited about taking over

than you are about
that baby of yours.

I wouldn't doubt it.

I think she's
a lot less nervous

about teaching

than I am about
having this baby.

Carrie, leave
that alone.

I just finished

Mary, how many of these
problems am I supposed to do?

Just the first 10.
Ma, can you help me with this?

Caroline: Sure.
What do you want me to do?

Mary: Pin it up,
the way you have yours.

If I'm gonna teach, I should look
less like one of the students.

You're already
growing up so fast,

I can't keep track
of you.

She reminds me of a lovely
young girl I knew once,

name of, uh,
Caroline quiner.

I wonder what ever
did happen to her.

Oh, didn't you hear?

She married a
handsome young prince

and lived happily
ever after.



Well, I'll tell you,
if I'm a prince,

then this must be
one of the princesses

whose bedtime is
just about now.

Say good-night,
your highness.

Good night.

Caroline: Good
night, Carrie.

Laura: Good night, Carrie.

Here we go.

Put you under your
nice warm covers, huh?


Sniggle down
and have a good dream.

Good night.

Good night, pa.

Good night, little birdies.

Morning, sleepyhead.

What time is it?

After 5:00.

Why didn't you
wake me?

Because you looked
so pretty

all curled up
like a baby.

I better
get your breakfast.


What's the matter?

It's nothing.
Just a dizzy spell.

Do you think you ought
to see Dr. Baker?

Oh, Charles, if I saw the doctor
every time I had a twinge,

the poor man would
never get any sleep.

You're sure?

Yes, and you'd never get
any breakfast, either.

Aren't you hungry?

Yep. A couple eggs
will do fine.

Now, in 1870,

the population of the 37 United
States and its territories

was 38,558,371,

not including
the Indians.

Now, of course,
we have 38 states,

following the admission
of Colorado in 1876.

Now, does anyone
know the population

of our own state
of Minnesota?

Yes, Willie?


Well, not quite.
It's 400,706.

What about
walnut grove?

Walnut grove
has 127.

Pretty soon,
it's going to be 128.

All right.
Time for recess.

Mary, you can take
a break now, too.

Thank you,
Mrs. Simms.

Well, Carrie,
aren't you going to go to recess?

Do people have babies
like birds do?

Well, more or less.

They usually have
them one at a time.

Mine are much littler
than that.

Your what?

My eggs. I got 3.

Oh, I see.

How long
till it hatches?

about 9 months.

Laura: Carrie,
we're waiting!


Thank you, Mrs. Simms.

You're welcome.

Are you having another one
of those dizzy spells again?

I'm all right.

Your lunch is ready.

Look, my lunch can wait.
We're going to go to town.

What for?

We're going to see
Dr. Baker.

there's nothing wrong with me.

Why don't we just let the
doctor decide that, all right?

You're wasting money
we don't even have.

Why don't you let me
worry about that?

Look, I feel better

Get your shawl.

Come on. I want you to see the doctor.
Get your shawl.

Caroline: I know what
you're going to say.

I don't really
want to hear it,

but Charles

Dr. Baker: Tell me what you
think is wrong, Caroline.

Wrong? Nothing.

I'm just
not 18 anymore.

It's pretty obvious,
isn't it?

I'm going through
the change.

Aren't you
rather young for that?

Well, it happens.

So that's
your diagnosis, is it?


I got a lot of patients who
think they know more than I do.

Now, I guess they could
save a lot of money

by figuring out
their own ailments.

Well, there's
only one problem.

They're never right.


Then there's
something wrong?

Nothing that 9 months
won't cure.





Ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

Need any more nails?

No. I'll be
finishing soon.

How come your mom's
having another baby?

Why not?

Well, she's got
3 of you.

you're all girls.

I suppose your pa
wants a boy.

What's so great
about boys anyway?

Well, can you fix
a barn roof?

Sure. Can you
have a baby?

supper's almost ready.

Be right there.

Andy, would you like
to stay to supper?

Thanks, Mrs. Ingalls,
but my ma will be expecting me.

Oh, all right.

Laura, will you set
the table, please?

I'll be back tomorrow
to finish up, Mr. Ingalls.

All right. Fine.

It's coming along
real good.

You're doing
a nice job, son.

I appreciate
you taking me on.

Well, you're
a real good worker.

Tell you what... when
you finish the roof,

I'll find another job for you.
How's that sound?

Thanks, Mr. Ingalls.
See you tomorrow.

All right. See you!

Andy: Ok! Bye!

That garvey's
a lucky man.

Got a fine boy

I'll get washed up.
Just be a minute.



What do you want?
A boy or a girl?

I couldn't
understand you.

Maybe I forgot
to move my lips.

I think
I was asleep.

Be serious.

You didn't answer
my question.

Your question.
Oh, yeah.

Well, I want,
uh, I want a baby

that'll grow up
to be

just as wonderful
as its parents.

But what kind
of a baby?

A healthy baby.

Wouldn't you want to
carry on the Ingalls name?

Oh, Caroline,
come on.

Nobody knows
the name of Ingalls

of walnut grove.

Well, if you
had to choose...

But I don't have to
choose, and I can't choose.

I mean, it's not
my choice to make.

But suppose you could.

Would you want
another daughter,

or wouldn't you want
a son this time?

If I answer
your question,

will you let me
go to sleep?


All right.
How about, uh, how about a son?

But it's not
my choice to make,

so why don't we stop
this silly conversation

and go to sleep?
I love you.

I love you.


Bandit, where are you?

Woman: Away, dog!

Shoo! Go away!

Oh, you bad dog!


Does that dog
belong to you?

I'm really sorry.
He's never done anything like that before.

I can go
try and catch him.

Not before he eats
my breakfast.

I'm really sorry, miss...


Just Maria?

It is enough.

I'm Laura Ingalls.

Would you like
to sit awhile?

I would enjoy the company
and the conversation.

Thank you.

Are you a magician
or something?

No, my dear.
I can see into the future.

A soothsayer!

Your vocabulary is excellent.

My sister read
about it.

She's much smarter
than I'll ever be.

So there are more
Ingalls children at home?

Two more. Will you
tell my fortune?

Later, perhaps.

I want to eat
what's left

before your dog

Did you paint all those
stars on your wagon?

Those stars
are pentacles,

meaning 5-pointed.

The number 5 is the
key to all things...

Like 5 days,

5 centuries,

the fifth son,

the fifth child.

My mother's expecting
her fifth baby right now.


My sympathies.


For the one
that didn't live.

How'd you know
about that?

It is not
important how.

It is important
that I know.

Well, I'd best
be going.

I, too, must
continue my journey.

where are you going?

To the next town
down the road.

That's walnut grove.

What you going to do
in town?

Oh, I shall tell the future
to those who want to know

and want to pay
for it.

Will you be there

Either there
or here.

I'll see you then.

Oh, and I sure
am sorry

that my dog ate
your breakfast.

It was no surprise.

I knew
it would happen.


Go to sleep now.


All right.

You go to sleep, too.

Caroline: Did you tell
her to go to sleep?


What was she doing
in there?

She was telling a bedtime
story to her eggs.

I told her she'd have
to start the story

earlier next time.

speaking of time,

you two ought to be
upstairs and in bed.

I've got to finish
grading these papers, pa.

All right, teacher.
Laura, you go on up, though.

Yes, sir.

Did you grade
my paper yet?

I didn't have time with all your
jabbering on about madame Maria.

Well, I can't go to
sleep until I know.

Well, you're going
to have to try.

Now, go on upstairs.

All right.

I wish
I was madame Maria.

Then I'd already know
what I got.

Charles: Upstairs.
Good night.

Good night.

Good night,

Good night, ma.

Carrie, honey, come on.
Don't dawdle.

Look, ma!
There she is!

Come on. You
have to meet her.

Oh, Laura.

Miss Maria!

Good morning.

This is my ma.

Mrs. Ingalls.

How do you do?
I've heard a lot about you.

Oh, no. I can't be late.
Mary will skin me alive.

Bye, ma. Bye, miss Maria.
Come on, Carrie!

She doesn't usually
have such bad manners.

She's a sweet child.

You have something
you want to know?


Uh, not that
I can think of.

But there is.

Would you like
to come inside?

Why not?
It might be fun.

Mrs. Ingalls.

You are not in a
condition to stand.

The roots
of your family

are planted
far from here.



You may expect a
visit of one of its...

Female members...

Following the birth
of your baby.

Is it my mother?

She'd love to see him.


That is unclear.

The mists
have fallen again.

Shall I tell you about
your expected child?

All right.

Give me
your wedding ring.



Come over and stand
by my chair.

What does it mean?

It means that
you will give birth

to a son,
Mrs. Ingalls.

You could be right...

But there's just as much
chance you could be wrong.

I can foretell the future,
Mrs. Ingalls.

I cannot
make you believe.

My fee is 10 cents.

It is said that round
eggs produce daughters,

long eggs
produce sons.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Good day.


♪ I dream ♪

♪ Of jeanie ♪

♪ With
the light brown hair ♪

♪ Borne like a ze... ♪

Ah! Caroline!

Mrs. Oleson.

My! Eva Simms
was in this morning, too.

I'm surprised to see
you both out and about,

your... condition.

And why not?
I never felt better.

Ah. Well, I suppose
I can always use the eggs.

Oh! Um, oh, my.

I... I forgot to save
any eggs out

for Charles'


Let's see.

Hmm. Mm-hmm.


Charles is certainly particular
about his eggs, isn't he?

Oh, yes. Yes, he is.

Oh, well, thank you very much,
Mrs. Oleson.

Now, if you'll
just credit that

to my account.
Thank you.



Ma saw madame Maria today.

Really? What'd she do?
Tell your fortune or something?

than that.

I couldn't

She's such a funny lady.

Wait'll you hear what she said.

It's nothing much,

It was the hocus-pocus
that was fun.

Ah, come on, ma.
Tell us!


She took
my wedding ring,

and she hung it
on a chain,

and then she held it
up in front of me.

You'll never guess
what happened.

What happened?

It began to swing
back and forth

in front of me.

So what?

Well, it means that ma's
going to have a boy.


That's what she said.

It's silly, isn't it?

You bet it's silly.
I can't imagine

you spending hard-earned
money for that.

It was only 10 cents.

Some more coffee?

Yeah. Thank you.

I'm returning some of the
papers you turned in last week.

Don't get too excited.
They weren't very good.

How come
I got a "d"?

I wrote what
you told me.

Well, you may have,

but I couldn't read
your writing.

That's not fair.

What do you
expect me to do?

Practice would help.

Now, I want you to turn the
paper over and write on the back:

"I will not argue
with the teacher" 50 times.

Why don't you write "dummy" 50
times, dummy?

Shut up.


Mary, I think
it's time

you took over
the class.

You mean...
Yes, I do mean.

Should I get the doctor?

No. That's
all right.

I'll just walk
to his office.

Can I help you?

No, no.
I'll be fine.

Uh, class,
you be good,

and you mind
what Mary says.

Good luck!

Good luck,
Mrs. Simms.

Alice, what's wrong?

I was supposed to be doing an
errand for the post office,

but I had to
tell you the news.

What happened?

Eva had her baby
about an hour ago.

Matthew Adam.

So it's a boy.

Uh-huh. Oh, it looks
just like his pa.

She's so excited.

She said she can't wait for
you to stop over and see him.

I'm so happy for her.

are you all right?

You look
a little peaked.

Just a bit tired,
that's all.

You get yourself
some rest.

It's your turn next.

Well, I got to run.
I'm already late,

but I knew
you wanted to know.

Thank you, Alice.


Practically had him
right there in school.

I think you're
exaggerating, Laura.

The way I understand it,
it might have worked out.

He's almost big enough
to sign up for class.

Guess you're going
to want to ride over

to the Simms' house tomorrow
morning to see the baby, huh?

I don't know yet,

She says
he has blue eyes.

Oh, yeah?

Mary: All babies do,
don't they, ma?

Can't we talk about
something else besides that...

That baby?!

What's wrong,

Your mother's got a baby of
her own coming real soon.

She's just a little
upset, that's all.

Why don't you girls
get supper done?

I'll go talk to her.

Caroline, honey,
what's wrong?

It isn't fair.

She doesn't need
a son.

She already
has Luke.

What difference
does it make?

It makes
a difference.

You said so.

Oh, now, come on.
Now, that isn't fair.

We were joking. We have
a wonderful family.

We don't have a son!

But we will,

We will.

Now, you don't
know that for sure.

I know.

I do.

I'm sorry.

I made such a scene
in there.

It's silly of me.

Your supper's
getting cold.

It's so hard to know
where to begin.

My mind's
been so unsettled.

When you took our son...

4 years ago...

I accepted it
without question...

Even though it hurt more
than we could have imagined.

That baby...
Meant so much to us...

Especially to his pa.

Loving Charles...
The way I do...

I can't bear the thought
of failing him.

I've searched my heart for
how I may have offended you,

and I've tried
to put it right.

If it's not enough...

Punish me...

But don't let... don't let Charles
suffer for what I've done.

There's Mrs. Simms
and her baby!

Adam: Hello, girls.

Oh, he's so cute!

Come see my son!

Be right there!

I'll be along in a
minute, Charles.

All right.

Oh, Mrs. Simms,
he's a beautiful baby!

Eva: Thank you.

Hey, papa!

Hello, Charles.

Hey, let me
see that baby.

Look here.

Ha ha ha!


Oh, Caroline, I've
wanted to see you.

It's been ages.

I know. I'm sorry.



Oh, Eva!


I know. I can hardly
believe he's real,

that he's mine.

I watch him sleep

as if he's going to


Adam: Come on.
We're going to be late.

Adam must be
so proud of you...

Of you both.

I've never been so
happy in my whole life.

It shows.

Adam: Eva!
We're going to be late!

All right!


Remember when
you made this?


Of course I do.

It was 4 years ago.

Sometimes... We're all sitting
around the dinner table,

and I feel like
someone's missing.

Now that place
will be filled...

By our son.

Why... why do you have to keep
saying that all the time?

"Our son." I mean,
we don't know it's going to be a boy.

Because I want a boy...

For you.

Well, I don't,
not if it means 9 months of misery.

You made this cradle
for our son.

I made the cradle for our child.

You want a boy.

I saw you with Andy,
working together.

Exactly! If I want to hire
somebody to work on the farm,

I hire him!
I don't have to father him.

You don't understand.

All right.
What if you weren't pregnant?

What if you
weren't pregnant?

Then we wouldn't
have anything

to worry about,
would we?

Caroline, when we had the
girls, all we cared about

was having a healthy baby.
That's all.

Well, of course
I want him to be healthy!


Why does it always
have to be "him"?!

We had a son,
and he died.

That's over.

God, you're as bad as
Carrie with her dead eggs

trying to give birth
to birds.

Morning, Jonathan.

Morning, Charles.

come on over here.

I got me some baby birds
nesting up here in the eaves.

I, uh, wanted
to talk to you.

It's about Caroline.

Not the baby?

No, no. It's... it's
nothing like that.

Actually, it's both
Caroline and myself.

I'm just
at my wit's end,

and it's a problem I
just can't work out

with the girls
in the house,

and I was wondering
if I...

You bring them
on over here.

They can stay with us

as long as
you want them to.

I'd really
appreciate that.

I know if we just have
a couple of days alone,

we can
work things out.

I... I can have the girls
over here in a few hours.

That's fine.

I'll go tell Alice.

Again, I really appreciate
it, friend.

Are you sure you don't want
me to take that for you?

It's all right.

Tell ma I hope
she's feeling better!

I know, darling.
You be good.

Charles, are you sure you won't
come in for a cup of coffee?

I'd like to,
but I think I'd best

be getting back
to Caroline.

All right,
but don't worry about the kids.

They'll be fine,
and they can stay here

as long as
you want them to.

I really appreciate it, John.
Thank you.

Well, now, miss Carrie,

looks like you're going to be
my girl for a little while.

What's that?

My eggs. I'm going
to hatch them.

Oh, I'm afraid
that just won't happen.

It has to.

Well, you got to be
real careful with eggs.

You got to put them
up high

so that nobody will step
on them when they pop out.

I never thought
of that.

I'll tell you what...
Let's put them in my barn.

I've got an empty nest
up there.

It's kind of high,
like a tree.

They'll be safe
up there.

Well... all right.

Come on.

Ok. Let me have
those eggs.


Do you think
they'll hatch now?

I'm sure of it.
Maybe even by tomorrow.

Now, you go on inside
and get unpacked.


Charles: Caroline.


It's almost time.

I'll get Dr. Baker.


Stay with me.

Just be with me.

I'm here.

Charles: Easy. Easy.
Just bear down a little.

That's it. Doing great.
Easy. Easy. That's it.

Doing good. Doing good.

Ok. Ok. Ok.

Ok. All right.
All right. Good.

You're doing good.

I'm th-thirsty.

I'll get you
some water.



Forget the water,
Charles. Forget it.

I'm a mommy!


is the baby
all right?

The baby's just fine.

I'll show you in a minute.
Just washing up.

But it's all right,
isn't it?

I told you
the baby's fine.

She's fine.

Why don't you take a
look for yourself, ma?

She's beautiful.


Oh, hello!

Oh, she's beautiful!

she ought to be.

She looks
just like her ma.

How you feeling?


I feel wonderful.

Caroline Ingalls.

Hmm? What?

What do you mean, what?
We have a problem here, you know.

How could we
have a problem?

just look at her.

we have to name her,

and the only names you chose
were Graham and Nathaniel.

And I love you.

I love you.

Laura, voice-over: We didn't
learn until years later

about all the worry
ma went through,

but it wasn't important,
she said,

we were all blessed

by the coming
of baby grace.