Walnut Grove, Minn.- In a surprising turn of recent events, Charles Ingalls admits that one day he put a little something special in his pipe and as a result finally understood his daughter, Carrie.
Members of the Walnut Grove community have long been coasting their way through Carrie interactions with a nod, a smile, or by diverting attention elsewhere. “That Ingalls girl, the younger one, you just simply can’t understand her!” Harriet Oleson, proprietor of Oleson’s Mercantile and proud mother of articulate children, tells The Prairie Review. “Why, when Caroline brings her with to bring the eggs in, I hardly know what she is saying! It’s a relief when Caroline comes alone so I don’t have to pretend to understand what she’s saying.”
The Ingalls family likewise admits that Carrie can be hard to understand. “One of the few times I’ve been able to really understand what she said was that time she was excited to have milked the cow,” Caroline Ingalls relates. “We all heard it clearly–she milked the cow. Of course, having the context of knowing that she had just milked the cow helped.”
After years of these struggles, Charles was astonished to understand with clarity what Carrie said after he finished smoking his special pipe. “She has so much to share with the world,” Charles tells us. “Not only did she milk the cow, but she has some really good strategies for maximizing milk output per squeeze. I had no idea our cow wasn’t living up to her potential until Carrie enlightened me.”
In addition to Carrie’s cow milking expertise, Charles comments that it surprised him to learn that she actually had some really interesting ideas about running the farm. “She was talking about the best times to plow, best practices for clearing the upper field, crop rotation, and a bunch of things I had never heard of before. No wonder I haven’t been successful farming so far–this resource has been totally untapped!”
While Charles is happy that his daughter has demonstrated valuable insight for farming, he admits that he has to draw the line somewhere on taking advice from his daughter. “When Carrie started pointing out that I should be able to get cheap lumber from working at the mill to add on to the house, maybe give her a wall between our bed and hers, well I had to put a stop to that,” Charles informs us. “There are some things that children, no matter how bright, just simply can’t understand.”