Post 42:
“The Gift”

Post 42: “The Gift”

From 13-Year-Old Anne’s Journal —

December 22, 1982 – POOR

“Mary & Laura want to buy Reverend Alden a gift. They send away for a medicine set to sell so they can get more money. They can’t sell any medicine so Nellie buys a Bible.”

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From Anne —

How entrepreneurial were you as a kid?  I was a social entrepreneur, starting a veterinary practice for ailing stuffed animals, and a public advocacy “Be Kind to Animals” campaign, involving leaflets drawn in crayon inserted into sandwich baggies left in mailboxes.

But I certainly wasn’t a dope pusher, like Mary and Laura are in this disappointing episode.  Pyramid schemes on the prairie?  Give me a break.

Patent Medicine

It’s amazing that Rev. Alden lets the girls completely off the hook for greed — maybe because that greed is about a bigger, better gift for him.  This moral misdirection is why I rated the episode “poor.”

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From Tracy —

Well . . .  sigh . . . I was a dope pusher. The drug was sugar. My personal dread every year was the damnable Girl Scout Cookie Drive. I hated going from house to house whoring myself to the system. Even then I had a sense of shame over the tackiness of it all. There were about a dozen girls in my hood who were better connected than me. Their mom’s and dad’s would take in their forms to their offices and then they would clean house within the neighborhood too. Dad was the boss at his work and didn’t feel it was right to make his employees buy my shit. And Mom was the last of the stay-at-home mothers.

I have to say I loved Reverend Alden in this episode. While I sometimes find his preaching and expectations of everyone boring and irritating, he did a masterful (and creative!) job of saving the Ingalls girls’ asses. Bravo Preacher Man.

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