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NeighborsFirst Transmitted: December 8, 1982
Another strong "Guthrie Episode" sees the young rancher making a new friend when Eddie and his Mom, Sophie, move into the ranch next door. A gentlemen's agreement reached several generations previously has allowed the McFadden's to graze their cattle on some spare pasture land belonging to that ranch. However, when Eddie spooks the animals while riding his quad bike which results in a dangerous stampede his Mom insists that the McFadden's find somewhere else to graze their livestock.
Guthrie and Eddie's friendship is unaffected by this dispute and they spend a happy afternoon playing computer games. In a particularly eerie moment, when the picture becomes distorted due to a faulty TV, Guthrie exclaims, "What happened? Are we getting a message from outer-space?" River's part as Wolfgang Müller in the movie Explorers was still three years away at this point. "That's the thing I like best about outdoors," says Guthrie smugly. "It never breaks down!" The two friends then head out into the wild to track bears and have a truly great afternoon.
Matters take a grave turn for the worse though when the Barton barn burns down. No one is hurt, and the McFadden brothers rescue the livestock inside, but this is all the excuse Sophie needs to decide to pack up and return to the city. As a result, Eddie, who has become very fond of the country, runs away. Guthrie, aware of what parts of the surrounding area he's explored with Eddie eventually finds him and ends up saving his life when Eddie falls into the nearby stream. "Hey, you're doing just what you said your Mom does - run away!" protests Guthrie to his friend. "And if you think that's the answer then I don't think you're the kind of friend that I want." Shivering in the waist-high water, the two make up and return to the ranch where they find the McFadden brothers rebuilding the burnt down barn which successfully encourages their neighbors to stay.