Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
Season 3, Episode 2
#68 in Series
Air date October 1, 1961
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by John Furia
Directed by Christian Nyby
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Smiler
Next Episode:
The Honor of Cochise
External links
Springtime on IMDb


Ben's friend Jebediah Milbank is accidentally injured by the Cartwright boys' rowdy horseplay. While Milbank convalesces, Ben has each of his boys attend to part of Milbank's business, sending each in a different direction.


Hoss gets a wagon full of poles stuck in the mud. Trying to free the wagon, Hoss is thrown into the mud when the mules lurch forward. All the wooden poles fall out and the mules go on without Hoss.

Joe and Adam are working nearby when the wagon approaches. Adam wonders where Hoss is.  Hoss walks toward them with one pole in his hands. Adam asks Hoss where the rest of the poles are. All three Cartwrights are surly and rude to each other.

Joe and Hoss each pick up a pole. Hoss accidentally hits Joe with his pole, Joe crashes into Adam, and Adam falls against stacked poles knocking them down. Each brother blames the others, and soon all three are fighting and rolling around on the ground.

In Virginia City, Ben is waiting for his friend, Jedediah Milbank, a skinflint who’s haggling for a deal at the livery stable. Jedediah is eager to meet Ben's sons since the last time he saw them they were children. Ben talks proudly of them and says they’re hard workers with good heads on their shoulders, and they’re close to one another as brothers should be.

Back at the mud hole the wagon is stuck again and the three brothers are pushing with all their might to free it.  As they push, Hoss picks up a rock and throws it at the

001 - Springtime

Ben and his sons after fighting in the mud

mules, the wagon bolts forward and Adam and Joe fall face down in the mud. Ben and Jedediah arrive in time to see Hoss laughing at them, extending his hand to help Adam up. Adam and Joe grab Hoss’ hands and pull Hoss into the mud. As the boys wrestle, Joe picks up a log, then throws it at Hoss. Hoss ducks so the log hits Jedediah’s foot, causing him to fall in pain. Ben wades into the mud to separate the boys, but he’s interrupted by Jedediah’s screams for him. Jedediah tells Ben his foot has been smashed by the log.

At the Ponderosa Adam is tending to cuts on Joe’s face. Ben comes down the stairs with the doctor, who is telling Ben that Jedediah has a very painful foot and needs to stay off his feet for several days. Ben tells his sons they will be volunteering to perform any errands or business deals Milbank has been forced to delay while he recuperates. 

When all are in Jedediah’s room, Jedediah pulls out a large wallet. He tells them there are exactly three things that need attention. First, he has a small piece of land and he’s heard that a squatter has moved in. Joe’s job is to run them off the land. Second, there’s a small piece of land he wants to fatten his cattle on and it’s Hoss’s job to buy it. Third, a couple who bought a ranch from him has only paid half. Adam’s job is to repossess the ranch and evict them.

Each of the boys ride off in a different direction to take on their assigned tasks. They come back after several days, having attended to each task. Although the tasks didn’t turn out as Jedediah expected, each was completed in a fair manner. Jedediah leaves in a huff, but Ben doesn’t seem bothered. He’s had enough of Jedediah and his whining.

Ben tells Adam, Hoss, and Joe that it’s been a long tough winter and to smell the fresh air and feel the warm sun. As it’s springtime and the Ponderosa can take care of itself, Ben states he’s going to town. When Ben returns with his horse, he asks his sons what they are up to since they are all mounted. Joe tells him “like father like sons” and they all ride off to Virginia City together.


The Cartwrights



Did you know?[]

  • German episode title: "Frühlingserwachen", meaning "Spring Awakening".


  • Ben says "Do you realize that man started out with nothing on his back but his clothes?" (should be "nothing but the clothes on his back.")


"Ten year old schoolboys would have showed more sense."
Ben to the boys[src]


"You know what day it is?"
"It's the first day of spring; that's what it is.
―Parley to Little Joe while fishing[src]



See also[]