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The Award 

A frightened, angry Caroline impulsively forbids Mary from taking a scholarship exam as punishment for accidentally starting a late-night fire in the barn where she had gone to study to ... See full summary »


William F. Claxton


Blanche Hanalis (developed for television by), Laura Ingalls Wilder (based upon the series of books "Little House" by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
Michael Landon ... Charles Ingalls (credit only)
Karen Grassle ... Caroline Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert ... Laura Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson ... Mary Ingalls
Rachel Lindsay Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls
Sidney Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls
Richard Bull ... Nels Oleson
Dabbs Greer ... Reverend Robert Alden
Charlotte Stewart ... Eva Beadle
Alison Arngrim ... Nellie Oleson
Ruth Foster Ruth Foster ... Melinda Foster


A frightened, angry Caroline impulsively forbids Mary from taking a scholarship exam as punishment for accidentally starting a late-night fire in the barn where she had gone to study to keep from waking her sleeping little sister, Laura. But more than anything, Mary wants the exam winner's prize, a beautiful, new Webster's Dictionary, and when she delays telling her teacher that she won't be taking the test, Laura worries that her big sister is planning to defy their mother. Written by shepherd1138

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In this episode, the award is a dictionary. It's the same dictionary Laura receives as a birthday gift in the episode, The Music Box. See more »


During the scene where Caroline is putting out the barn fire, she goes from being barefoot to wearing slippers to barefoot again. See more »


Caroline Ingalls: What are you working on?
Laura Ingalls: Spelling. I have to write down every word I missed twenty-five times.
Caroline Ingalls: Mm... How many did you miss?
Laura Ingalls: A few...
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User Reviews

over studying.
25 August 2015 | by RedRainbowUnicorn23See all my reviews

Oh another gem for season 1.There is a special examination coming up and the people who gets the highest score will get a nex dictionary.(Just so lovely to see that the people back then thought that ,that was the most awsomest thing they have ever seen as to today we all have dictionaries or you can look a words meaning up on your phone or on the net)Mary starts to prepare bc she has her eye on the prize.one night she went out to the barn lit a lantern fall asleep and accidentally knocked it over.She woke up and the bran was on fire in fear called her mom and Mrs Ingalls put it out. Horribly frightened Caroline yells at Mary and tells her for punishment she can't take that test another she must go tell that to miss beadle the next morning.Which included this funny quote Laura:"ma she can't tell mis beadle tomorrow", Caroline:"well why not?", Laura:"bc tomorrow is Saturday", Caroline:"oh well Monday then". I always loved that. This episode is good and the way Mary tried to make up for what she did wrong that was great, some sense form a very well brought up daughter!!! Go and check this one out once again another one of the perfect ones for the series!!! Now continue to episode 13

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