Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Answers to a Fan's Nagging Questions about Little House




Over at our Little House on the Prairie forum, a fan posted a link to an article from 2008 titled, "My Nagging Questions About Little House on the Prairie." I have to admit I was feeling a bit zany last night when I answered these questions, but I thought it would be neat to add them here. Hope you'll comment on any that catch your eye.


Why did the Ingalls have the crappiest house in Walnut Grove? How did the Garveys (and everyone else in the town) end up with a much larger home? Didn’t Jonathan work at the same exact mill as Charles? (Granted, the Garveys only had one mouth to feed…but you get my point.)

Because, if the Ingalls family had a bigger house, it would be called “Little House That is Now a Big House on the Prairie.” LOL! Actually, I think a lot of it does have to do with the fact that they had more kids. People with larger houses were business people or had fewer or no kids: the Widow Thurman, the Olesons, snippy Christie who was a town girl, Mrs. Craig, and Lars Hanson. Often the houses shown for other townsfolk were smaller than the Ingalls farm. My question was how did Almanzo (a farmer) and Eliza Jane (a teacher) afford that nice house?

Why wasn’t older Carrie ever given a storyline? (I think the last time she was featured was when she fell down the hole.) If the attention wasn’t on either Laura or Albert, it was on the new adoptees James and Cassandra. As it was, Carrie barely ever spoke.

Agreed. Give that girl a storyline or acting lessons—whichever was necessary.

Why were the older males never meant to have love? Mr. Edwards lost two families and then gave up a blind girl because he felt he was too old. And how about Dr. Baker? He also gave up Anne Archer because of age.

No chizz. Even the Reverend Alden ended up married.

Speaking of love, why didn’t Hester Sue and Joe Kagan ever get together?

They did. After Hester Sue almost married that horrible funeral director, she leaves the church on the arm of Joe Kagan. He asks her if that means they’re engaged, and she says something like, “I’ll have to see how you work out.” Then in "Second Chance" (Season 8), Hester Sue’s ex-husband comes back and she admits to Caroline that she didn’t marry Joe because she couldn’t rid herself of her feelings for Sam.

Was Charles the only person in town who could solve things with his fists?

I think Jonathan Garvey did a good job of that too.

When the families temporarily left Walnut Grove to make money in other towns (like Winoka), what did Dr. Baker do?

He stayed to take care of Lars, who had a stroke, and a few others. But why did Mrs. Foster stay? Or anyone else who hung around when there was no church and no store. It couldn’t have been easy to get supplies.

Why didn’t Laura and Almanzo volunteer to take more orphans in? (I’m not counting Shannen Doherty since she was technically a relative.) Laura knew what it was like to grow up in a large family and she had a huge house. She could have offered to take James and Cassandra in when they were looking for parents. Heck - she could have even offered to trade homes with her cramped parents.

Because, until Charles and Caroline left, they were the role models of the community. They were the parents and they fixed the problems. Also, Charles felt responsible for the Cooper children.

Exactly how much older was Almanzo to Laura?

They don’t really say. In " Back to School," Charles asks Caroline how old he is. He assumes he’s in his 20s, but I don’t think we ever know. In real life, there was a ten year difference between Laura and Almanzo, and there is an eight year age difference between Melissa Gilbert and Dean Butler.

When the Ingalls were struggling, how did Charles always find money for tobacco?

Maybe he has a patch hidden in the wheat. LOL! Even sugar ran out at times, but never tobacco.

When Mary’s baby died in the fire, how did Dr. Baker know the fire started in the basement? Was he also the town fire marshal?

Doesn’t Hester Sue open the door to the basement and sees the fire? I would think the pipe would have been destroyed by the intense heat.

Whatever happened to the black doctor Hiram brought on?

He’s working on the same alternate prairie as Dr. Marvin, who cures Jenny. He is mentioned in the Season 8 episode "A Farway Cry," so we can only assume he's around, but we never see him again.

If there were approximately 100 residents in Walnut Grove, why did only 20 of them show up to church every week? I think more people ate at Nellie’s during their franchise stint.

Some lived pretty far out of town. They probably didn’t come all the time. But I'm sure no one ate at a restaurant that often.

Why were Caroline and Hester Sue responsible for running every shift at the restaurant? Couldn’t Mrs. Oleson find someone for the breakfast rush?

Now, where’s the fun in that?

Why did Hester Sue feel it was necessary to sing after every event?

Considering Ketty Lester was a singer, that doesn’t surprise me.

When did Charles and Caroline find the time to produce more children? Not only did they lack bedroom doors - Carrie slept in the same room!

They are very inventive or quiet.