Erin adopts a wild animal while John Boy gets a life lesson with a new job



(created by) (as Earl Hamner),

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Episode credited cast:
Olivia Walton (as Miss Michael Learned)
Erin Walton (as Mary Elizabeth McDonough)
The Narrator (voice) (as Earl Hamner)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Betten ...
Mrs. Littlefield
Mr. Hennessey
Jimmy Davilla ...
Harold Beasley


While picking berries Erin comes across a fawn without his mother and decides to take him home. Naturally the adults insist she return the creature to the wild, and the local game warden agrees. Meanwhile John Boy seeks to be the rent collector for a miserly landlord, and learns a lesson by doing so (and he teaches one, too.) Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rent collector | poaching | crush | See All (3) »


Drama | Family | Romance





Release Date:

8 November 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The fawn used in this episode is a blacktail deer. Blacktail deer are only found along the west coast. The deer that live in Virginia are whitetail deer. See more »


Narrator: [narration as John 'John Boy' Walton, Jr. reading from his journal] As close-knit and self-sufficient as our family was, still, neighbors were very important in those days when we were growing up on Waltons Mountain. There were families like ourselves, struggling to keep the land we owned, and there were tenant farmers at the mercy of the weather, crop prices and absentee landlords.
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The Bear Went Over The Mountain
Traditional children's song
Sung by Walton children
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User Reviews

A Good Lesson About Nature
23 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

TITLE: The Fawn ORIGINAL AIRDATE: November 8, 1973 WRITER: John McGreevey DIRECTOR: Ralph Waite

PROLOGUE: "As close-knit and self-sufficient as our family was, still, neighbors were very important in those days when we were growing up on Walton's Mountain. There were families like ourselves, struggling to keep the land we owned, and there were tenant farmers, at the mercy of the weather, crop prices, and absentee landlords."

SYNOPSIS: Erin has a shy admirer. Harold Beasley is a schoolmate of hers but he is too bashful to show his affection and prefers to admire her from afar. As the Walton kids walk to school, they learn that the Littleton family has been forced out of their home due to unpaid taxes. At school, Erin offers Harold a gift containing an embroidered hankie and a love note. Some bullies make fun of Harold and Erin and Harold won't stand up to the bullies or acknowledge her gift. Later when the Walton children go berry picking and they ask Erin to come along instead of brooding. She finds a fawn in the forest all alone and brings it home. The family comes to see the deer that Erin has found. They have heard that a Game Warden has been looking for poachers. Erin figures the deer is hers and names him Lancelot. Mama warns Erin to not get too attached to the fawn as they will need to release it back to the wild once it gets stronger. When she begins to protest her Grandpa says that "Once you start interfering with nature you'll find yourself in a mess of trouble." The Game Warden, Mr. Hennessey arrives and tells Erin that the deer needs to be released, as it is illegal for a private person to own a wild animal. Her mother tells Erin that she needs Lance much more than the deer needs her.

QUESTIONS: What did Jim Bob and Elizabeth give to Erin? What was Erin nightmare about? What did Erin fine when she got to the fawn?

EPILOGUE: "My sister Erin gave Lance his freedom and he took it gratefully. We never did see him again although two years later we did glimpse a doe and a fawn. The little one looked so much like Lance we told ourselves that this must be his son. Erin decided to give boys another chance, and if Harold Beasley wasn't exactly a "knight in shining armor", he was devoted and persistent. I never regretted my brief fling as a man of business. When I'm reminded from time to time of the lessons Graham Foster taught me, memory carries me back to that Depression time, and the voices of my family."

MY THOUGHTS: I like this one because of the fawn. Growing up on farms, I saw my share of deer. I use to go pick berries also. I love the scenes of the mountains so I'm going to give this episode 8 weasel stars.

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