The Waltons shelter a deaf girl (Erica Hunton) left on their back porch by her mother because her father insists on institutionalizing her.While they search for her family, they start teaching her sign language, which she uses to help Elizabeth when an emergency arises.
The Waltons' cow gives birth to a bull calf, which John decides must be sold for truck repair money, much to his children's disappointment.
He is able to buy it back after he learns the man he sold it to plans to butcher it.
John-Boy is anxious to prove himself on a turkey hunt with his father and two friends, but finds he can't shoot a turkey, which he equates with premeditated murder.
He has no trouble killing a bear when it attacks his father.
Grandpa Walton takes it as a sign of his own impending death; Ben takes it as a sign he will win the fourth-grade spelling bee; and an unscrupulous relative of the sisters first plans to exploit the meteorite for financial gain, then tries to steal their "Recipe machine".
A young preacher (John Ritter) comes to Walton's Mountain fresh from seminary, where he has learned the currently-popular fire and brimstone style of preaching.
He happens to be a Baldwin relative, and after a visit succumbs to the effects of their "Recipe".
John-Boy borrows an antique typewriter from the Baldwin sisters so he can submit a proper manuscript to a magazine.
Mary Ellen inadvertently sells the typewriter to a traveling junk dealer.