Ep.6 - The Chicken Thief

  Original Airdate: October 18, 1973
Writer: Richard Carr
Director: Ralph Senensky


  "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."



  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. The Sheriff arrests Yancy for the crime. When John and John-Boy try to help they find Yancy surrounded by neighbors who have brought him gifts of food to his jail cell. Yancy doesn't want to come clean, if he tells the truth he'll stay in jail and if he doesn't he figures that he'll be set free in a few days. John-Boy then goes to Charlie Potter to get him to set the record straight. Charlie is stubborn and too proud to admit fault in the events. He wonders how he will manage to do his chores with his gun wound. John-Boy offers to tend to his farm and in so doing he witnesses locals returning chickens to Charlie's coop. They don't want Yancy to stay in jail. John stops by and tells Charlie that the gun wound was caused by a .22 just like the one over Charlie's mantel. Charlie finally admits that he tripped and shot himself while he was trying to stop the chicken thief.

Secondary Story:

  Ben has won a poetry content and his poem gets published in Liberty Magazine. He feels though that he stole one of John-Boy's poems when he looks through some of his work for inspiration. John-Boy on the other hand is proud of Ben and a bit envious for getting published first. He explains to Ben that he just burrowed an idea to get started but that his words, rhymes and setting were all different and unique.


Poem - "A Winter Mountain" by Benjamin Walton
Our mountain in winter is something to see
at times it is just like a person to me.
A giant in white all covered with snow
it changes each day as the heavy winds blow.
And when I'm alone and I go for a walk
it's almost as if that old mountain can talk.
It seems to say Welcome my Winter Friend
I was here at the beginning, I'll be here at the end.


  "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."

Episode Notes and Interesting Facts:

  • This is the frst episode directed by Ralph Senensky. You can read about his memories of the 12 episodes he directed here.

Additional Cast:


Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker),Richard O'Brien (Charlie Potter), Meg Wyllie (Mrs. Potter), Jane Aspen (Cissy Wellman), David Moody (Floyd Carter), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Charles Kuenstle (Mr. Kilgore), Dorothy Meyer (Mrs. Blankfort)

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