Mother Earth was getting her twelve children ready for the new year, and she had called them all to her to see what was needed to make them fresh and beautiful.
But before Mother could say a word to them, they all began to talk at once.
Mother Earth, who is very wise, told them all to be quiet and that each in turn should have a chance to speak.
January, being the first to be sent out, thought she should speak first, so it was agreed that each should speak as they came in order.
“I start all the year,” said January, with a toss of her head. “I think I am the most important of all my sisters, and while I may not be as beautiful as some of them, I feel I should be given the most praise because I am the first month of the year.”
“I do not agree with you, sister,” said February, with a look of cold disdain at January. “I am the most beautiful of all the months. Who can compare with me in my snowy robes and crystal trimmings? Give me the place of importance, Mother Earth; I am your child of beauty.”
March had been bustling about waiting for her chance to speak. “Who dares claim my place?” she snapped. “I am the most important month who prepares the way for the spring. I ask Mother Earth, am I not the most important of all your daughters?”
April, with tears streaming down her pretty cheeks, spoke next. “Mother Earth, I do not wish to take any glory from my sisters, but do I not give you water and make you smile? I feel I am at least a help of some importance.”
May, the laughing child of Mother Earth, spoke next. “Oh! how happy I am,” she said, dancing and singing around Mother Earth. “I really do not know how important I am, dear mother, but I know the whole world is glad when it beholds me.”
June, all blushes, her fragrant breath sending forth sweet perfume, spoke next. “I am the month that Youth loves best, of that I am sure,” she said. “I am most important in the gardens, for what would a garden be without my roses? So I feel I should be given a good share of your praise, Mother Earth.”
“I care not for all that has been said, I am the warmest month, Mother Earth,” said July. “Give me the place of importance and your praise. Do I not make the whole world warm, and what would the vegetables do, I should like to know, without me?”
“Wait, sister,” said August, “you and I are almost twins. I will divide the honor with you, but I will not allow you to take the whole of the praise from Mother Earth for being the most important month of all; together we help to bring forth the vegetables, and we keep the whole world warm, so together we will share the place of first importance, sister.”
September spoke next: “I am the one who brings the first cool breeze, therefore I must be of the most importance, Mother Earth, and the glorious days I bring are more beautiful than those of the other months, I am sure.”
“October is the month of beauty, sister; you have forgotten me, who brings to the world the glorious coloring that my days give,” said October. “The praise should be given to me and the place of importance, Mother Earth.”
November spoke in slow, sad tones. “Some think I am the saddest month of all the year,” she said, “and others say they love me best of all. I have not much to give, but what I have I give freely, and I am sure I must help or I would not have a place to fill.”
December said she was the most important. “Yet one of you deny it,” she said. “Who brings Christmas cheer and makes the whole world merry, I ask you, sisters? I do; the question is settled. Mother Earth, you cannot deny your daughter December is the most important of your twelve children.”
All this time Mother Earth had kept quiet, but when December finished speaking, she smiled sweetly on all her daughters. “You are all the most important,” she said, “for how could the year be perfect without each one of you in your turn? I love you all alike, so do not quarrel, my children, about which is the important one, for there is no choice; the most important place in my heart is filled with you all.”
The twelve months smiled and became friends once more. The Mother’s love had brought harmony out of discord.
January kissed her sisters goodbye and began the year smiling with happiness and love.