Little House on the Prairie
Season {{{season}}}, Episode {{{number}}}
Air date December 11, 1974
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by William F. Claxton
Episode Guide

Mary is entranced by an award of a beautiful dictionary for an extra credit exam for school. Her studying and carelessness cause a fire to start in the barn. Worried and very angry, Caroline forbids Mary to take the exam. Having second thoughts, Caroline decides to try to hold Mary to the punishment to establish her credibility while Mary decides to take the test anyway and win her Ma's love back by winning the award.


While studying for an optional history exam in the barn, Mary accidentally knocks over a reading lamp and starts a fire. Caroline punishes Mary by forbidding her to take the test. Mary waits until the day of the exam to finally admit this to Ms. Beadle.



  • Melissa Sue Anderson, who plays Mary, has indicated in previous interviews that she really loved doing this episode. It was the first episode that focused in on Mary, and Melissa Sue feels that it was her chance to prove that she could take on more complex material in the series--which she certainly did in later seasons, when her character went blind.

External links

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