After finding a number of bottles containing messages, including a photograph, from a mysterious girl, Laura finds an abandoned baby. Laura takes the child in and cares for it like it was ... See full summary »


Michael Landon


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, first billed only:
Michael Landon ... Charles Ingalls
Karen Grassle ... Caroline Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert ... Laura Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson ... Mary Ingalls
Rachel Lindsay Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Sidney Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Richard Bull ... Nels Oleson
Kevin Hagen ... Dr. Hiram Baker
Katherine MacGregor ... Harriet Oleson
Lenora May ... Anna Mears
Michael Mullins Michael Mullins ... Bobbie Harris
Donald Moffat ... Nathaniel Mears
Woodrow Parfrey ... Reverend Pritchard
Jonathan Gilbert ... Willie Oleson
John Craig John Craig ... Clark Harris


After finding a number of bottles containing messages, including a photograph, from a mysterious girl, Laura finds an abandoned baby. Laura takes the child in and cares for it like it was her own, not knowing it belongs to a timid young woman with an abusive father. Written by <Explorerds6789>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

30 January 1978 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Melissa Gilbert actually had a cast on her arm throughout the entire episode, compliments of an ice skating accident that occurred shortly before the episode was filmed. Unless you are aware of it beforehand, you probably don't even notice that Laura is wearing thick shawls, wrapping blankets around her whole body, or having the camera show only her head and shoulders throughout the episode. In previous interviews, Gilbert has joked that the one time her character had the opportunity to hold a baby for pretty much the whole episode, she couldn't even really hold her - the baby just kind of rested on her cast. See more »


Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder: I didn't realize how late it was.
Charles Philip Ingalls: Alright, upstairs now! GO ON!
[Laura goes up to the loft, Charles follows]
Charles Philip Ingalls: Alright, young lady, suppose you tell me where you've been!
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder: I was walking.
Charles Philip Ingalls: You were walking? Not towards home, I take it. I can't hear you!
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder: No, sir.
Charles Philip Ingalls: Then where were you walking?
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder: By the lake.
Charles Philip Ingalls: Do you have any idea how upset we get when you just disappear?
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User Reviews

Be my friend
15 July 2013 | by Michelle PalmerSee all my reviews

This is one of those special ninety minute episodes. It's a bit odd in that Laura finds a message in a bottle (isn't that profound?) and starts looking for more bottles. Soon, she gets into a bit of trouble. Her father even threatens to spank her.

The story soon takes a twist when Laura and her father are out and find more than a bottle. They find a baby. Laura naturally adopts the baby. Her maternal instincts kick in and she prays to God to let her keep it. She doesn't think the mother deserves to have the baby after giving her up.

But Charles, the Social Worker that he is, gets to the bottom of things and learns the truth. It's handled very well. The message is clear: sex outside of marriage is wrong, but if it's going to be done, you must take responsibility for your actions.

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