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"A Nice Day"

Episode 26

Airdate: 1975/11/01
Writer: Dick Morgan
Director: Gordon Wiles

As Cha-Ka roams through the jungle, he witnesses a large venus-flytrap-like plant (which roars no less!) release the stripped-clean bones of its last victim. Over at High Bluff, the Marshall family works on finishing their chores. Dad examines a large animal trap that he built; Holly tests a newly discovered fruit on a small captured bird. The new food appears to be harmless to all the little test animals, but after Holly tastes the unpleasant fruit, she decides it isn't worth eating. Will comes down from the cave, proudly showing off his finished fishing pole, and receives a compliment on the workmanship from his father. When Holly unintentionally threatens to spoil Will's fishing trip by wanting to tag along, Will desperately tries to find a reason why she might have to stay behind. She doesn't have any chores left to do, so Will fibs that he would love it if his sister made some smilax cakes for that night's dessert ("makes my mouth water just thinkin' about 'em", says Will with a painful look on his face). Holly is justifiably suspicious of her brother's intentions (she should be -- he's always insulting her cooking), so in a last ditch effort, Will fabricates the excuse that he didn't compliment her last batch because they reminded him so much of home that he was speechless. Holly distinctly remembers a very different story, one of complaints and teasing, so Will, swallowing all his prankster pride, falsely confesses that he was so embarrassed by the heart-touching moment that he just had to make a joke out of it. Holly unhappily points out that preparing the cakes would take her all day, prompting Dad to step in; their father smooths things over by volunteering to set up his traps by a smilax patch he knows of nearby to keep Holly company. Will ecstatically rushes off on his fishing trip alone.

On his way over to the waterhole, Will is greeted by Cha-Ka. Will invites the little Paku to join him on his trip, but Cha-Ka does not understand. Will identifies the fishing pole, and proudly declares himself "great fishing pole maker". After Will explains how fishing works, gesturing how to cast the line, Cha-Ka gives it a try, but tosses forward the entire pole.

Over at the smilax patch, Dad sets up his trap, while Holly gripes about the difficulty of pulling out the roots. She grumbles that her brother had better appreciate her for all the work she is going through. Dad is finished setting the trap, and needs only to rig up a signal that it has sprung that can be detected from High Bluff. At the waterhole, Will calmly sits fishing, and points out to Cha-Ka some fish in the pond. When Cha-Ka gets excited, Will shushes him. Bludgeoning the white, softball-sized, turnip-shaped smilax roots with a stone hammer, repressed Holly considers joining the Women's Liberation Movement when she grows up (the script writers just couldn't resist the corny alliteration: "even if I am the only libber in the Land of the Lost", states Holly). Will keeps getting his bait eaten right off his hook; frustrated, he promises to show Cha-Ka a fish as soon as he can catch one. Holly continues mashing the smilax, threatening that her brother had better ask for seconds.

Will reels in another empty hook and realizes that the time of day is wrong; worms don't work well in the afternoon. He pulls out and unwraps a piece of rancid, rotting meat; though Cha-Ka considers it offensive, Will insists the fish will love it. After most of the afternoon passes, Will is utterly perplexed; he's tried even feathers for bait, and cast the hook to all different spots in the pond. He hands over the pole to Cha-Ka while he stands to stretch his legs; immediately a fish bites, making the Paku frantic. Will takes over the pole, and in a struggle reels in a good-sized fish. Cha-Ka reacts violently to the catch, going so far as to make vomiting noises. Though Will explains that the fish isn't poisonous and that unlike Pakuni, humans eat meat (? this contradicts Ta selecting an iguana for their Stone Soup), Cha-Ka still vehemently protests. The Paku tosses the fish, pole and all, into the water where it swims away.

Dad and Holly are busy at work when the trap is suddenly sprung. They go over and check it out, to find they have caught a multi-colored, 300-pound pig. Holly eagerly thinks of all the pork chops and bacon to come, but Dad points out the problem that they have no way to preserve the leftover meat (did he ever think of salting and drying it?) He explains to his daughter how they should never kill more than they can eat, and Holly reluctantly agrees. Dad decides to let the beast go, warning Holly to stand clear.

As Will and Cha-Ka head back from fishing, they watch out to avoid Spike. The Paku greedily demands a reward for "saving Will's life", so Will offers to have Cha-Ka over for dinner. As they arrive at the smilax patch, they notice the venus-flytrap-like plants. Dad and Holly have yet to release the pig; when Cha-Ka sees their porky catch, he "protects" the kids by frantically pushing them away. Dad assures Cha-Ka, who is clinging behind his leg, that the wild beast can't get him, but as the commotion settles, he notices that Holly is missing. To their shock, they find Holly unconscious, laying on top of a carnivorous plant pod.

Dad and Will quickly but carefully move Holly away from the toxic plant. Her pulse is quick; her hands are clammy. Cha-Ka tries to explain about getting Ta to perform magic to cure Holly, but Dad ignores him, instead regretful that he knows little about plant poisons. He sends Will back to the cave for the first-aid kit, snake-bite pump and smelling salts; his son dashes off at top speed. Rummaging hastily through their supplies at the cave, Will drops the smelling salts bottle, where it breaks on the cave floor. With no time to lose, he rushes as fast as he can back to his ailing sister. While sprinting through the jungle, he crashes into Ta; fetched by Cha-Ka, the annoyed, eldest Paku picks himself up and brushes off his ceremonial palm-frond-and-feather robe. Cha-Ka asks Ta to perform his magic, and leads him on to Holly.

Will arrives back at the smilax patch, to find his sister's pulse much stronger. He confesses to Dad that he broke the smelling salts bottle; Dad then starts cleaning out the arm wound with the first-aid kit's alcohol. The Pakuni show up, and again Cha-ka presses Dad to let Ta perform his magic; this time, Dad agrees, and asks Ta to summon his healing powers. Will is suspicious of Ta's witch-doctor style, but Dad explains that he may know something about the plants, and that they've already tried their own efforts and failed. Translating for his fellow Paku, Cha-Ka explains that Ta demands a reward if he is to save Holly's life, so at first Dad offers their general help and gratitude in return. When Ta requests that they bow down before him, Will puts up a fuss, but Dad insists that they go along with it. Ta pushes the men down flat on the ground, then recites his chants of magic. Strangely, Cha-Ka turns upset, calling out in surprise at his witch-doctor clansman. As Ta brushes a small flower in Holly's face, she miraculously awakens, yelling for the Paku to get away. Will explains to Holly what had happened, and how Ta saved her life, but Cha-Ka scolds Ta while Holly insists she woke up first. Dad and Will realize the poison's effect was only temporary, and suspect as clued by Cha-ka's displeasure that Ta knew it all along. Since "every physician is entitled to his fee", Dad decides to give Ta a very big reward. Will leads him eyes-covered in front of the animal trap, and opens the gate to give the doctor just what he deserves. Ta backs away frightened, giving everyone else a big laugh.

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