A local "Robin Hood" who steals from the "haves" and gives to the "have-nots" causes a crisis of conscience for John-Boy



(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:


While delivering a load of fence posts to a neighbor, John-Boy spots someone he knows stealing a couple of chickens. He keeps the fact to himself and confronts the thief, who agrees to return the fowl. But when the sheriff tells the Waltons that the neighbor was shot by a chicken thief, John-Boy regrets keeping his knowledge to himself, even though he is sure the thief he saw is not capable of shooting anyone. Meanwhile Ben has a crisis of conscience of his own when he wins a poetry contest with something he feel he stole from John-Boy. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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Drama | Family | Romance




Release Date:

18 October 1973 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sheriff Ep Bridges is seen reading the August 1, 1931 issue of "Literary Digest," although it appears that \the props department altered the date to say 1934, more in synch with the Waltons story line. Artwork on the magazine cover is called "Gloucester Fisherman," and was painted by Joseph Margulies. See more »


Narrator: [narration as John 'John Boy' Walton, Jr. reading from his journal] When I look back on Walton's Mountain, I remember that our parents, by word and by example, took some pains to teach us the practical lessons of life and its virtues. But, though I had been well taught, there came a time when I doubted my own honesty and questioned its true value.
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The Best Yet
23 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

TITLE: The Chicken Thief Original Airdate: October 18, 1973 Writer: Richard Carr Director: Ralph Senensky

PROLOGUE: "When I look back on Walton's Mountain, I remember that our parents by word and by example took some pains to teach us the practical lessons of life and its virtues. But though I had been well taught there came a time when I doubted my own honesty and questioned its true value."

SYNOPSIS: When John-Boy stops by Ike Godsey's to check on a package for Olivia he reflectively mentions to him that he really doesn't know much about him despite coming to his store so often. Ike offers to tell him his life story but John-Boy is in a rush to get back home. He finds Grandpa and Yancy Tucker shooting a game of pool in the back hall and Yancy mentions that he'd like to go quail hunting with John-Boy's daddy. Grandpa and John-Boy hop on Old Blue and head home. John-Boy asks Grandpa what Yancy does for work and Grandpa replies that it is best not to know. John has an order of fence posts to deliver to Charlie Potter. When John-Boy helps him make the delivery, he sees Yancy Tucker running off with 2 of Charlie's chickens. On the way home, he struggles with whether he should report what he saw. Later Ike gives John-Boy a box full of papers and photos so that John-Boy can get to know him better and hopefully write stories about him in his novel. John-Boy is caught off guard by Ike's eagerness to be a part of John-Boy's book. The next day after school Yancy stops by to explain his actions to John-Boy. He says that he is only taking from those who have and giving to those who don't, kinda like Robin Hood. Yancy promises to take a couple of chickens back to Charlie's to ease John-Boy's conscience but that night Charlie Potter is shot in the leg while trying to apprehend the chicken thief.

QUESTIONS: Why was The Sheriff looking for Yancy? Why did John try to help Yancy? Who did John Boy go to visit?

EPILOGUE: "Outside our mountain the world was in deep depression, but we were sheltered by a common bond. The accomplishment of one was the accomplishment of all. We shared our glories, our defeats, our hopes, our aspirations, but mostly our love."

MY THOUGHTS: This one was by far the best of the season I give this episode 7 weasel stars.

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