"And why didn't you bring more? Or did you eat them on the way home?" asked Holena harshly.

"Oh, sister dear, I didn't eat a single one. But when shook the tree once, one apple fell down, and when it told me to shake it a second time, another apple fell down, and it wouldn't let me shake it again. It shouted to me to come straight home," protested Marusa.

Holena slapped her: "You greedy child! May you be struck by lightning!" 

Marusa began to cry bitterly, and ran into the kitchen.

Greedy Holena stopped cursing and began to eat the apple. It tasted so delicious, she and her mother agreed they had never tasted anything so wonderful. When they had finished, they craved more.

"Mother, give me my fur coat. I'll go to the forest myself. That ragged little wretch probably ate them all, and if we send her out she will do it again on her way home. I'll find the place all right, and I'll shake them all down, however much a stupid tree shouts at me."

Her mother tried to dissuade her, but it was no good. She grabbed her fur coat, wrapped a scarf round her head, and off she went to the forest, while her mother stood on the threshold.

The snow lay deep, and there wasn't a human footprint to be seen anywhere. Holena wandered about for a long time, but the desire for the sweet apple kept driving her on. At last she saw a light in the distance. She went towards it, and climbed to the top of the mountain where the big fire was burning, and round the fire on twelve stones the twelve months were sitting. She stepped up to the fire and stretched out her hands to warm them, but she didn't say as much as "By your leave" to the twelve months; no, she didn't say a single word to them.

"Why have you come here, and what are you looking for?" asked Great January crossly.

Holena looked at January, and all she saw was an old, old man.  "Why do you want to know, you old fool? It's no business of yours," replied Holena angrily, and she turned away from the fire and went into the forest.

Great January frowned and swung the club over his head. The sky grew dark in a moment, the fire burned low, the snow began to fall as thick as if feathers had been shaken out of a down quilt, and an icy wind began to blow through the forest. Holena couldn't see one step in front of her; she lost her way altogether, and several times she fell into snowdrifts. Then her limbs grew weak and began slowly to stiffen. The snow kept on falling and the icy wind blew more icily than ever, and she grew colder and colder, despite her fur coat.