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Episode 405: The Wolves

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Title-Wolves
Little House on the Prairie
Season {{{season}}}, Episode {{{number}}}
Air date October 17, 1977
Written by Lawrence M. Konner
Directed by Michael Landon
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Laura and her new friend, Andy, find an injured mother wolf trying to tend to her pack of baby pups. Andy takes the wolf and her babies home to care for them, but decides to move them to the Ingalls barn when he learns Jud Larabee wants to shoot them. Things turn deadly when a pack of rabid dogs advance on the barn, trapping Andy, Laura, Mary, Carrie and Bandit inside, leaving them to rely on Jonathan Garvey – and even more so, Bandit and the mother wolf – to save them from being mauled.

Cast

Synopsis

Encouraging

Andy and Laura try to convince Alice to play with them.

In a wide field, a dog gives chase to a lone sheep. As the dog chases the sheep many other dogs suddenly appear and also give chase. At the Garvey home Laura and Andy are playing a jumping game. Andy tries to encourage his mother to have a go at the game but she declines as she is busy doing the washing.

However after Laura says she thinks adults just say certain things to get out of doing childish things she has a change of heart. Just as she is about to jump, Bandit interrupts and Laura heads home. Andy presses her to jump again however she declines yet again saying she has work to do. She then tells him to go inside and finish off his homework, when he is gone however she decides to jump however Andy sees her terrible jump. Embarrassed, she tells him to do his homework again.

The Wolves 1

Caroline and Charles leave on their trip.

At the Ingalls home, Charles and Caroline are busy preparing for a trip. Caroline is worried and reminds Mary of all the things she has to do but Mary tells her that she already knows. Caroline then kisses all the girls goodbye and heads outside. After saying their farewells Charles and Caroline leave. Meanwhile at the mercantile, Jonathan is busy buying a frying pan. Harriet tries to get him to buy the more expensive pan however Jonathon settles for the cheaper one, he also buys a pack of chewing tobacco, much to Harriet's disgust.

Larabee enters the Mercantile wanting to purchase some traps, interested Garvey asks what they are for but Larabee doesn't bother to properly answer him only saying he's buying wolf traps. Jonathan tells him that there are no Wolves in Walnut Grove however Larabee mentions that two of his sheep have been killed.

After Garvey leaves, Harriet starts gossiping about him, but Larabee is only interested in the wolf traps. Harriet shows him the traps while trying to find out more about his vendetta with Jonathan but again he ignores her and tells her to put the traps on his account. Nels enters the store room and Harriet again gossips about Jonathon.

Harriet mentions that Jonathon stole Larabee's furs but Nels tells her that Larabee should be apologizing as Jonathon was falsely accused and that they found the real thief. Nels continues and says that the only problem is that Larabee was humiliated and that is why he has a vendetta against Jonathan. Annoyed, Harriet says she still doesn't trust Jonathon saying that she doesn't like him because he chews tobacco and spits it which leaves Nels annoyed.

The Wolves 2

Laura and Andy free the "dog."

In the woods Laura and Andy are picking berries for Mrs. Garvey when Bandit's barking interrupts them. Upon meeting up with Bandit they see a large dog caught in a wolf trap. They decide to free the dog from the trap, the dog's foot is hurt badly and Laura and Andy don't know what to do. The dog however limps away to a large secluded area where Andy discover that the dog has puppies. They then decide to take the dog and her puppies back to Andy's home.

Back at the Ingalls home Mary is furious when Laura arrives late. Laura tries to tell her about the puppies but Mary seemingly doesn't care which prompts Laura to leave again. Over at the Garvey homestead Jonathon finds Andy with the puppies. Shocked, Jonathan tells Andy that they aren't dogs but actually wolves. Jonathan says that they will have to release them as they don't belong with them. Andy tells him that he always told him that they should take care of all of God's animals. Jonathan decides to let the wolves stay for a while and tells Andy they he'll get Doc Baker to have a look at them. Somewhere at another farmyard the pack of dogs storm in and attack the farm animals.

The Wolves 3

The wild dogs attack a farmyard.

At the Ingalls household Mary pressures Laura to put the light out as it is the middle of the night. Laura doesn't want to though as she hasn't finished her homework. However she decides to after Mary continues to nag. In the end she uses moonlight until the moon goes behind some clouds.

During the morning, Doc Baker tells Andy that the female wolf will get better after resting for a while. Jonathon enters the barn and put's a muzzle on the Wolf. Andy asks what it's for and Jonathon reminds him that she is a wild animal and unpredictable which Doc Baker agrees with. Jonathon tells Andy to head to school and warns him to tell know one apart from Laura about the wolves. Doc Baker tells Jonathan that he thinks that Andy views the wolf as a new pet. However Jonathan tells him that they plan on releasing the wolves after they are healed and tells Doc Baker not to tell anyone else about them. Doc Baker tells him that he won't and that he can keep a secret and then leaves.

The Wolves 4

Doc Baker treats the wounded female wolf.

As Mary and Carrie walk to school they spot Laura building a tree house. Again Mary pesters her so Laura comes down and heads off to school saying she is building the tree house to get away from her.

The Wolves 14

Laura building a tree house.

At a lunch break Andy and Laura talk about the situation with the wolves when Nellie sneaks up on them demanding to know what they are talking about. She tries to bribe them with candy and Andy falls for it and tells her about the wolves. As the bell rings for class to resume Nellie runs off to the Mercantile.

The Wolves 5

Andy tells Nellie about the wolves.

Andy is shocked because Nellie crossed her heart and promised not to tell and Laura simply replies that Nellie has no heart. Doc Baker is in the Mercantile speaking with Harriet when Nellie runs in and tells her about what she has heard. Harriet thinks Nellie is joking until Nellie mentions that Doc Baker knows and Harriet inquires about it. Doc Baker admits to knowing about the wolves and Harriet gets worried. Doc Baker reassures her and tells her that there is no one who knows more about wild animals than Jonathan. Harriet is furious that he is a part of what they are doing and Doc Baker after making a joke leaves. Harriet then tells Nellie that after school she must go and tell Larabee about the situation.

At the mill, Hanson is happy that the weather is great for Charles and Caroline on their trip. Jonathan is loading a wagon and mentions that he has checked on the Ingalls girls and says that they are doing pretty good on their own. Hanson also tells Jonathan that another farmer has had his farmyard attacked by wolves and that a cow was killed but they didn't eat the corpse. Jonathan finds it odd and mentions wolves kill enough to eat and don't just kill for the sake of killing. Hanson sternly tells him that once the farmers have had enough they will kill all the wolves in the area and then mentions heading back to work. Jonathan is visibly angered at hearing this. Back at the Garvey home Laura and Andy are discussing how they shocked they that the 'dogs' are wolves, Laura also mentions that she sometimes can't figure grownups out when Jonathan comes into the barn and agrees with her. Andy starts discussing names with his father about names to call the wolf puppies including naming one Jonah.

The Wolves 13

Laura and Andy tend to the baby Wolves.

Jonathan tells him that they shouldn't be discussing names because they aren't going to keep them and that they aren't pets and that while God created some animals like cats and dogs to be with people others such as wolves were made to live in the wild. Andy tries to persuade his father and says that he would take good care of them and Jonathan agrees but sticks firmly to what he said. He also mentions that he once saw a woman who owned a lion and it was very tame but it had a look in it's face wanting to be free. Andy decides to let the wolves go free. Jonathan tells the two that they'll keep the wolves for a couple more days until the mother is healed and then they'll release them into the woods and Andy sadly agrees.

Back at the tree house, Laura finishes construction. However, it is hard to get up and down the tree house so Laura heads back home to find a ladder. At the Ingalls house Mary calls for Laura to come to eat when Laura comes out of the barn remarking about how disgusting her cooking is. Mary gets annoyed again and Laura says she'll come after she's finished doing something. Mary asks Laura about the situation with the wolves and Laura tells her that they are going to set them free the next day. Inside the barn Laura takes the ladder and heads back to the tree house.

Back at the mill, Larabee arrives and acknowledges the fact that he knows Jonathan the wolves in his barn and that he wants them. Jonathan ignores him and tells him to go about his business in town and to leave him. Angry, Larabee shows Jonathan the mutilated sheep corpse in his wagon. Jonathan remarks that it couldn't of been a wolf that killed the sheep and that he only has a wounded female and two puppies. Larabee remarks that wounds heal and that puppies grow up and that he want's the wolves dead or he'll do it himself. Furious himself Jonathan warns Larabee to stay away from the wolves, his property and himself and then storms off.

The Wolves 6

Larabee confronts Jonathan.

At a field the pack of dogs seen at the beginning of the episode are on the prowl again. Meanwhile back at the school Andy goes to fetch a ball that has gone under Oleson's Mercantile. As he gets the ball he overhears Larabee speaking to Mrs Oleson about heading up to their place with some men to kill the wolves and that Jonathan will face trouble if he tries to stop them.

The Wolves 7

Andy overhears Larabee telling Mrs Oleson about what he is going to do.

After school Andy races home and takes the mother wolf and the puppies in his little wagon and rushes of to Laura's tree house. They decide to keep the Wolves in Laura's barn. Back at the Ingalls home Mary finishes making her and Laura's bed and then asks Carrie where Laura is but Carrie doesn't know. Furious Mary remarks that Laura must be at her tree house but Carrie says she'll go and get her. Outside Carrie calls for Laura when multiple barking makes her look up. The same group of dogs seen multiple times are coming down the hill. Inside Mary wonders what all the ruckus is about and heads outside. Seeing the dogs, Mary hurriedly gets Carrie to head inside the barn.

The Wolves 15

The wild dogs storm the Ingalls farm.

Laura and Andy are unaware with what's going when Mary and Carrie storm inside. Mary shouts to Laura to help her barricade the door. Back outside the dogs violently attack the Ingalls' chickens and cow while all the children can do is listen on in horror. Mary thinks that if they wait for a while the dogs will leave while Laura and Carrie remark how scared they are. Mary reassures them that they will be okay, although she looks just as scared as they do. She then suggests that they sing because Caroline always sung to them when they were scared when they were younger. Andy suggests they sing 'Old Susanna' and so they do. As they sing the dogs try to find a way into the barn.

The Wolves 9

The children sing to remain calm.

Hours later all is silent and the group are unsure to go outside or not. Mary says that they can't take a chance trying to find out. Suddenly a rustling is heard outside and Mary investigates. She looks low and see's a lone dog digging into the loft and orders the group to head up to the hay loft quickly, however Laura remarks that the ladder is at her treehouse. Making a quick decision Mary tells them to use the table near the hay loft. Quickly the children scramble to get up to the hay loft as the dogs continue to dig into the loft. Andy quickly gives the wolf puppies to Mary to take up and manages to get Bandit and himself up in time just as the dogs make their way inside.

The female wolf quickly makes her stand but is brutally killed by the rampaging dogs. In the hay loft Mary tries to reassure Carrie while Andy hope's that his father will find them while a shaken Laura thinks that no-one will come for them. Mary comes up with plan to send Bandit out the back window and head to the Garvey home but Laura is scared that the dogs will get him. Mary says firmly that they have to try it and heads over to the back window to check if all is clear. A frightened Laura tells Bandit what he must do and then releases him outside.

As Bandit flees one dog notices him and gives chase. Bandit manages to get away from the dog but not before being bitten. At the Garvey household Jonathan leads his horse into the barn and notices the wolves gone. Jonathan quickly rushes inside his house to check up on Andy. Mrs. Garvey comes out wanting to know where Andy is because she thought that he would be with Jonathan. Jonathan answers that he hasn't seen and then sternly asks if Larabee or anyone else has been around the property.

The Wolves 10

Jonathan checks Bandit and realizes something is happening at the Ingalls' farm.

Mrs. Garvey replies that she hasn't seen anyone when Bandit comes into the house bleeding. Jonathan realizes that something is up at the Ingalls' place and quickly takes his rifle and heads out leaving Mrs. Garvey stunned.

As Jonathan is getting his horse ready, Larabee and two other men arrive at the Barn demanding the wolves. Jonathan tells them about the trouble with Andy and Larabee demands to know what it is. Jonathan replies that he doesn't know and that they can either ride with him and find out or get out of his way. Back at the Ingalls the girls wait continue to wait on. Suddenly one of the smaller dogs starts to make it's way up to the hay loft. Mary starts to hit it and knocks it down. Until wave upon wave of dogs surge up to the loft. Just when Mary is about to start using a pitchfork, Jonathan, Larbee and the other 2 men arrive and seeing the situation shoot all of the dogs dead.

The Wolves 11

Jonathon, Larabee and the other townsmen shoot the wild dogs dead.

Jonathan checks on the children while Mary slumps down in exhaustion. Andy embraces his father and mentions that the mother wolf protected him that he could've died. Hearing this Jonathan gives Larabee a look and he seems to understand. Mary starts crying in exhaustion and sadness.

On a beautiful sunny day, Laura, Andy and Jonathan watch as another female wolf adopt the 2 wolf puppies. Laura asks Jonathan about the dogs that attacked them on the previous days. Jonathan tells her that they were wild and probably abandoned by their owners a long time ago because they stoped loving and caring for them. As they watch Andy asks if the puppies will be happy and Jonathan says that they will be and then tells them that they should leave them be. As Laura and Andy leave the wolves they both mention that they will miss the puppies. As they head home Jonathan tells Andy that he has seen some puppies for sale and that they'll have to hurry if they want to get one.

The Wolves 12

Laura, Andy and Jonathan watch the wolf puppies being adopted by another female wolf.

Themes

Trivia

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The Handyman The Creeper of Walnut Grove

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