Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Racoon (Season 1, Episode 10)

Laura owns a beautiful porcelain doll named possibly "Janet". Maybe "Janice". No subtitles, so I'm on my own to decide. It doesn't matter, cuz that thing's getting busted to bits forthwith, when Laura accidentally falls on her while playing catch with Mary.

As much as I dislike the expression, I think this is what "throwing like a girl" looks like. What the hell is Mary doing? The ball is in her left hand, by the way. The one that's waayyyy sideways behind her head. WTF?

That night, Pa tries to put the doll's head back together. There's no way, and he can't spare the cash to replace it.

Mary visits the mercantile and finds out that a new doll costs $1.20. Luckily she finds something better on the way home from school: a baby raccoon (and episode title be damned, I'm spelling it with two Cs!). She brings it home as a gift for Laura. Seriously, can Mary do anything right?

Laura loves the raccoon. She names him Jasper and makes plans to have him sleep in her bed.

When Pa gets home, he puts his foot down. That's a wild animal with no place being in the house. Pa tells her to turn him loose in the woods. But he's just a baby! Pa wouldn't leave Carrie alone in the woods, would he?

Pa changes his mind, and says that the girls can keep Jasper until he's big enough to hold his own in the woods. He's not allowed in the house, though. That's rule #1. God, these Ingallses have gone from meddling in the lives of the human inhabitants of Walnut Grove, to getting all up in the animals' business too.

The girls, dressed in their winter duds, are going to take Jasper to school to show off some of the tricks he's learned.

The schoolchildren marvel as Jasper eats an egg, while Miss Beadle assigns the homework. The kids bumrush Jasper and he snarls at them viciously.

On Sunday when the family is at church, Jasper wreaks havoc at home. He chases the chickens, then decides to B & E the little house. He better not make a mess in there, so help me God.

Jack goes ballistic outside until the Ingalls family gets home. They enter the house to find... a mess. Oh shit.

Pa puts Jasper in a burlap bag and drives him to the woods to release him. By the time Pa gets back to the little house, Jasper is already there. Pa relents and decides to build Jasper a cage, so he can live in the barn.

Jack still hates Jasper's guts. Mary has to hold Jack back when Laura opens the cage to feed the raccoon. Jasper lashes out and bites Laura, escapes the cage, tussles with Jack and bites him, then runs away. Laura makes Mary promise not to tell, and they just pretend that Jasper ran off. Mary sucks, so she spills it to Pa a few hours later that Jasper bit Jack.

That night, "Jasper" comes back to attack the chickens. It's all action when Pa leaps from bed, shirtless, to run to the barn. The raccoon is up in the loft. It jumps at Pa, and Pa stabs it repeatedly with a pitchfork.

Pa finds that the raccoon was rabid. He ties Jack in the barn. When Mary comes out to do chores in the AM, she starts to untie Jack. Pa tells her no, Jack may have rabies.

Mary does her best first cry telling Pa that Jasper bit Laura, too.

Ma and Pa take Laura to Doc Baker. It will take 3 weeks to a month to find out if Laura is affected. If Jack develops symptoms in the next week or so, then Laura probably will too. There is no treatment.

Laura stays in bed day after day. If Laura's rabid, why the hell is Mary still sharing a bed with her?

Jack starts jumping and barking in the barn. Pa preps his gun. Jeez, Pa. Jack's probably just upset because he's not used to being tied up. Pa goes to the barn, and Jasper is on the ledge doing his "cover the eyes" trick that Laura taught him. So, Jack has a last minute pardon. There were two raccoons: Jasper, and the one that attacked the chickens. Laura isn't sick, and the Ingalls family learns an important lesson about wild animals.

Oh, and: we never have to see Jasper again.


BadKat said...

Man, if that rabid raccoon infected Laura, maybe she would have bitten Mary. Then Mary could have bitten Carrie and we all would have been pleased…

Anonymous said...

Ha ha totally agree!

Susan said...

Just found your blog and love it! I've been secretly borrowing the DVDs from my library and watching them when the husband's out. He already knows about my BSC addiction, I don't want to give him more fodder! Anyway, I love reading your recaps and that you're doing them in chronological order. Can't wait for the next one!