Great January arose. He went over to the month sitting opposite to him - it was June - and he handed the club to her, saying: "Sister, take the high seat."

June took the high seat upon the stone and swung the club over the fire. The fire shot up, and its heat melted the snow in seconds. The ground was all green, the trees were covered with leaves, the birds began to sing, and the forest was filled with all kinds of flowers. It was summer, and the ground under the bushes was instantly covered with white starlets, the starry blossoms turning into strawberries in moments, and they ripened before Marusa's eyes.

"Pick them at once, Marusa!" commanded June. Marusa picked them joyfully till she had filled her apron full. Then she thanked the months with all her heart and scampered merrily home.

Holena and the stepmother were amazed when they saw Marusa bringing the strawberries. Her apron was full of them. They ran to open the door for her, and the scent of the strawberries filled the whole cottage.

"Where did you pick them?" asked Holena sulkily.

"There are plenty of them growing under the young beech-trees in the forest on the high mountain."

Holena took the strawberries, and she and her mother started to eat them till they could eat no more, but they didn't share any with Marusa.

Holena had enjoyed the strawberries so much that she grew greedy for other dainties, and so on the third day she longed for some red apples.

"Marusa, go into the forest and get me some juicy, red apples," she said to her sister.

"Alas! sister dear, how am I to get apples for you in winter?" protested Marusa.

"You wretched little tatterdemalion, how dare you argue with your betters? You got me violets, and you got me strawberries, so go to the forest at once, and if you don't bring me apples don't bother coming back!" threatened Holena.

Her stepmother caught hold of Marusa and pushed her out of the door and shut it after her. Marusa went to the forest weeping bitterly. The snow was lying deep; there wasn't a human footprint to be seen anywhere, but she didn't wander about this time. She ran straight to the top of the mountain where the big fire was burning. The twelve months were sitting round the fire; and Great January was sitting on the high seat.