The Twelve Months (fairy tale)
It is Aarne-Thompson type 480, the kind and the unkind girls. Others of this type include Diamonds and Toads, The Enchanted Wreath, Mother Hulda, Maiden Bright-eye, The Old Witch, The Three Heads in the Well, The Months, and The Two Caskets.
A young and beautiful girl is sent into the cold forest in the winter to perform impossible tasks by her evil Stepmother. She must get violets, strawberries and apples in midwinter for gifts to give her stepsister for her birthday. The girl ventures out into the blizzard and eventually meets the 12 personified months by a warm fire in the woods who help her. The youthful spirit of March creates the violets, June the strawberries, and September the apples. The step mother and sister take the items, without a word of thanks. When the evil stepsister comes to search for the magic apple tree of September herself in the snow, the spirits disappear, taking their fire, and leaving the stepsister cold and hungry in search of the apple tree for eternity. The same fate lay in store for the wicked stepmother. She too let greed run away with her and to this day she still searches in an unfriendly forest for the path back to her home.
- Georgios A. Megas, Folktales of Greece, p 123, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1970
- Georgios A. Megas, Folktales of Greece, p 232, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1970
- Heidi Anne Heiner, "Tales Similar to Diamonds and Toads"