Samuel Marshak, "The Twelve Months": a summary, characterization of the characters

The article contains a retelling of the Twelve Months by Marshak, the fairy tale and its dramatic version.

Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak is a wonderful Russian and Soviet children's writer and poet of the 20th century. In addition, he was a brilliant translator and worked a lot as a journalist.

Marshak Samuel

The article provides information on how both of these works were created, how their further fate was. In addition, according to the writer, their main idea is presented. It is told about the composition of the characters and the principles of the construction of both scenes.

History of creation

"Twelve Months" by Samuel Yakovlevich Marshak in both versions were created in 1942-1943. It was a very disturbing time for the country. It was the Great Patriotic War. Marshak then devoted himself to creating military essays and poems. But considering that people, even in difficult times, need rest and fun,nevertheless, he wrote these two stories - first a small prose with the subtitle “Slavic fairy tale”, then a theatrical version under the general title “Twelve months”.

The plot of the text version was inspired by one of the Bohemian legend stories. At the same time, created especially for the Moscow Art Theater, a theatrical piece with the same name appeared. True, the production was carried out only after the war: first in 1947 at the Theater for Young People, then at the Art Theater, in 1948.

At the same time, the composition of the heroes of the play "Twelve Months" by Samuel Yakovlevich Marshak was significantly expanded and the outcome was somewhat changed. It contains four actions.

This is one of the most popular New Year's theatrical tales. Together with the prosaic version, they went through a lot of books. In 1956, a cartoon was shot based on the play, in 1972, thanks to director Anatoly Granik, her screen version was released.

In 1980, even Japanese multipliers released their “anime” after the fairy tale. During Marshak’s lifetime, Walt Disney’s creation of a tape on this work had been outlined, but because of the delays of the Soviet bureaucrats, the case failed.

The book "Twelve months"

And all this - not counting the numerous productions of a dramatic tale by both professional and amateur theater companies (including children’s).

The idea of ​​fairy tales

It is, above all, about hard work. The fact that even the forces of nature and time help hard-working and kind people. And the greedy and evil disappear, leaving no trace on the ground.

The author spoke of the very meaning and moral message of both works:

I tried to avoid obsessive morality in my tale. But I wanted the tale to tell that only nature is open to honest and honest people, because only those who come into contact with it can comprehend its secrets.

Below, we present a retelling of the prose story "The Twelve Months" by S. Ya. Marshak.


Do you know how many months a year?

So the author asks the reader, anticipating the tale. Well, of course, we all know that. Each of us, without thinking, will name the months that make up the year. But the meaning of Marshak's question is not to remind us of this, but in a completely different way.

After all, January will come after December, and May will come when April ends. And nothing else. Never will meet the months, walking one after another, without waiting for his term.

Twelve months

But supposedly he lived in a small village located in the mountainous country of Bohemia, such a person, a girl who managed to see all the months brothers at once. How she managed it, and how it all ended - such, in short, is the basis of the plot outline of this story.


As described in Samuel Marshak’s Twelve Months, there was a family in the world — a woman with two daughters. One of them was native, and the second - stepdaughter. She loved her own daughter, and the second had to work hard to please her stepmother. But she was a hard-working and obedient girl.

My own daughter lived in a good mood — she took a nap for whole days on a feather bed and ate gingerbread. And the second for the cares not to sit down - then run to the well for water, then go to the forest for brushwood, then wash the laundry. Affairs a lot.

And the girl grew up - and she knew the summer heat, and froze from the winter cold, and was wet in the autumnal rain. She became the heroine of the fairy-tale story of Marshak "Twelve months". And it was she who was lucky enough to see them all together once.


And it happened in the winter, in the month of January. It was time for the snowy one — snow piled so much that the swept trees in the forest could not swing, and the poor villagers only had time to work with shovels, shoveling snowdrifts from the doors to their huts.

But the wicked stepmother of lime to the hated stepdaughter conceived. Looking at the flying flakes of snow outside the door, she ordered her to go for snowdrops in the winter forest. Like, your sister is your birthday girl tomorrow, and where is the gift? Go, therefore, to the forest and do not return without flowers.

I thought the girl first: joking, I suppose, stepmother. Not March in the yard, but January. Crack frost, snow waist-high - what little flowers at a time like this? But the cruel sister added, completely clarifying the situation:

“If you disappear, no one will cry about you.” Go yes without flowers do not come back. Here is your basket.

What was to do? How not to obey? The rights of children were not even heard then - the Middle Ages. The poor girl cried, wrapped herself in a ragged her handkerchief and stepped from the threshold to meet the evil one, the same as her family, the blizzard.

The development of events

The poor girl wanders, barely pulling out her legs in felt boots from the snow drifts, holding a handkerchief on her head, and covering her eyes from the thorny snow and the icy wind. And the night is black - no stars in the sky, no moon. Only the snow underfoot is light.

Our heroine reached a fallen tree: if you still freeze, so why not here? Sat on the trunk and sits.

Stepdaughter in the forest

And suddenly he sees - lit up far, far away, in the forest often a light, like an asterisk.

I was delighted to grief. "If only it did not go out!" - I thought. And she went, climbed through the windbreak and thicket, pushing the snowy branches and stumbling.

"Burn, burn, light!". And he not only does not die away, but becomes brighter and brighter. Already a smoke pulled, and it became audible, as the fire crackled in the fire. From the last forces the girl has reached that glade. Yes, and froze in surprise.

Meeting with the months

A huge bonfire is burning in the middle of the meadow - bright, hot. And people are sitting around him and talking quietly.

“That’s strange, the traveler thinks. And not like hunters, but they don’t look like lumberjacks. The clothes are so smart and rich - everything is made of gold, silver and green velvet.”

Three middle-aged among the seated she counted, three middle-aged, three young men. And there is the fire itself and three more - those are just boys. Who are these people?

Then the old man who was closest to her suddenly turned around. And how terrible, bearded, brovast! The girl was frightened, she wanted to run away, but her grandfather asked her: who are you, where are you from and why did you come?

The girl told him her story: snowdrops, they say, are needed. And an empty basket showed.And he laughed incredulously: so the inventor!

The girl replied that they would not let her go home if she returned with an empty basket. Stepmother angrier than frost. She would have to stay in the forest and freeze. And she wept bitterly.

Then the men started talking among themselves, making noise. Suddenly one of them rose - it was a young guy with a fur coat draped over one shoulder, and turned to the old man: "But give me your place, brother January!"

"So, February is still between us!" - objected January, pointing to a shaggy old man with a disheveled beard.

And February, who also knew the girl well, remarked:

then at the hole you will meet her with buckets, then in the forest with a bundle of firewood. All months, it has its own. We must help her.

The climax. Winter retreats

The first spoke in January, striking the ground with a staff of ice:

Do not crack, frost,

In the protected forest,

At a pine, at a birch

Do not bite the bark!

Full of you crow


Human housing

To rejuvenate!

And after these words everything died down in the forest. Has ceased to howl blizzard, to splash from a frost trees. The snow flew in big soft flakes. And the staff went over to Brother February, who spoke as if it boomed:

Winds, storms, hurricanes,

Blow what is urine!

Whirlwinds, blizzards and storms,

Play for the night!

In the clouds, sound loud,

Wind over the earth.

Let snowing in the fields

To the white serpent!

And winter began to rage again. A snowstorm flew over the forest, swept over the fields by snow. Meanwhile, February handed the staff to the next brother, Martha.

Looking our heroine: miracles! The old man had just been in the hands of an old man, an ice stick, and at the first spring month it turned out to be a tree branch with blossoming buds.

Cheerful young March sang loudly:

Scatter, streams,

Spread out, puddle,

Get out, ants,

After the winter cold!

Bear sneaks

Through the forest fathom.

They have become birds singing songs

And bloomed snowdrop.

And the winter forest immediately disappeared. Under the feet of the girl was soft earth. Flowed, noisy streams. The birds sang. The first leaves appeared in the trees. She wonders: did spring really come?

And March is hurrying her: just in an hour brother Brother January gave us the place. Hurry, look for your snowdrops!

And in the forest, these spring flowers are apparently invisible! The girl rushed to collect them and collected a whole basket, even grabbed it in her apron.

The outcome. Here you have snowdrops

And then she ran home through the empty forest.And the brothers-months are no longer met.

At home, she poured snowdrops out of the apron on the bench, put the filled basket in front of her amazed stepmother and sister, and told them everything as it was.

“Why didn't the brothers-months give you anything else?” they asked when the girl was done.

“But I didn’t ask for anything,” she shrugged.

- You fool, you fool! - answered her sister. - But I would not just leave, I would have realized. I would give one month of strawberries, another - pears and apples, a third one I would pick up mushrooms ...

“And then we would sell everything and get rich,” the stepmother said. - What are you smart, daughter! And what about snowdrops? Just think, flowers ... Come, you, dear, yourself in the forest and deal with these months.

To the palace on a sleigh

She grabbed that coat, shawl, mittens, and beyond the threshold.

Passed a bit, but the frost is cracking, the forest around has become quite dense, and the snow is deeper and deeper. Suddenly he sees - everything, as her sister has gathered snowdrops. So there is a glade, a hot bonfire is burning on it, and around it are twelve months brothers and they are talking about something.

The frozen sister did not begin to greet them and the ceremony of planting, immediately went to the fire to warm up.

- Who is this? - exclaimed January, striking his staff on the ground. - From where?

The girl told him that she was the sister of the one that was allowed to collect snowdrops here. And she herself, they say, needs gifts. It means so. From June - strawberries, from July - cucumbers, August let them give apples and pears, September - more nuts ...

- Do not happen to fly in the middle of winter! - January got angry. - Go away, we do not know you!

- Yes, I did not come to you, - replied the greedy person. - I need summer months. And since the winter month there is nothing to take - snow and ice.

The old man fluttered his sleeves, and such a wind began to boom, such a snowstorm began, that everything covered the snow with snow — from the sky to the ground. I confused stepmother daughter:

- Hey! - shouts. - Calm down! I do not want!

Yes, where there! It was completely covered with snow, and it fell into a snowdrift.

A stepmother did not wait for her, ran into the woods to look for. She did not find anyone, only she froze and disappeared.

Such is the story of these heroes of the Twelve Months by Marshak.

End of story

But the stepdaughter lived a long life. Married and raised children. And near the house, supposedly, she had a wonderful garden: the very first flowers in that garden bloomed, ripened berries, ripened apples. On the hottest day coolness reigned in that garden, and in the coldest winter - warmth and comfort.

They also said that all twelve brother-months are staying in this garden - they are all staying together, and not one by one, as it should be.

So the author thinks - what if it really was true?

Above, we cited the full content of Marshak's Twelve Months, or rather, the prosaic version of this tale.

Theatrical version of the work

In the palace, the young stupid Queen issued a decree to bring a basket of snowdrops to the palace for the New Year. Promised a generous reward to those who fulfill the highest wish.

Meanwhile, the Daughter and her Mother are sitting in the same village hut who really want to go to the palace and get an award, but they don’t want to look for snowdrops in winter. And then they send the stepdaughter to the forest for snowdrops.

Talking beasts live in a wonderful winter forest. Squirrels with a hare play in the burners and chat with the old raven.

The stepdaughter wanders through the forest and realizes that she will soon freeze. She climbs on a tree branch, so as not to become prey to the wolf and dozing.

She dreams that the deceased mother is going to meet her with a burning lamp. Awakens, looking - and in front, among the thicket, the light really shines.

The stepdaughter leaves the tree and goes to the bonfire, where brothers-months talk.Touched by her story, April asks her brother for an hour, so that the girl can pick up flowers and return home without freezing in the forest.

They help the girl, and April presents her with her ring, which, if a difficult situation happens, will help her to get out. Months strictly punish the girl not to tell anyone about meeting with them. She swears.

The stepdaughter brings home a basket of flowers and immediately falls asleep, tired. The daughter of an old woman steals the ring from her. Then they go to the palace with snowdrops. The awakened stepdaughter begs the stepmother with her sister to return the ring to her, but they do not listen to her.

Scene in the palace

In the palace, the queen really wants to know where these two, a woman and a girl, managed to find flowers in the winter forest. They make up a story about a wonderful place where you can pick mushrooms and berries and snowdrops right in the snow.

- We go there all together! - decides the Queen. Frightened by the inevitable revelation, the old woman and her daughter confess that the flowers were brought from the Forest of the Stepdaughter.

But the Queen does not change her decision and, together with the courtiers, goes to the forest, ordering Stepmother, her own Daughter and Stepdaughter to accompany them.

In the forest, the Queen demands that the stepdaughter show where she collected snowdrops. She refuses. Then angry, she takes away a fur coat from the Stepdaughter, threatens to execute her and throws her ring into the hole. The girl only has time to say the magic words and then disappears.

And spring comes immediately, followed by summer. A bear suddenly comes out of the forest to the Queen. The courtiers flee, only the Old Soldier and the Professor, her teacher, protect her.

Next comes autumn, it rains, a cold wind comes. The courtiers, leaving the Queen and taking the horses back to the palace. Only the Professor, the Old Soldier and the Stepmother with the Daughter remain with her. And winter comes again with snow and cold. You could go home on a sleigh, but there are no horses. The queen is freezing.

The end of the play

Suddenly an old man appears, dressed in a white fur coat, and asks everyone what he would like to receive. The Queen wants to return to the palace, the Professor - so that the seasons return to their places, the Soldier agrees to the fire to warm him, the chilly stepmother with Daughter ask for fur coats - any, even if a dog. The wizard from the forest fulfills their desires. But the old woman and her daughter in dog coats immediately begin to quarrel with each other that they did not ask for sable. Swear and turn into dogs.They are harnessed to a sleigh, but to no avail - dogs do not want to drive a sleigh.

Brothers of months promise to barking mongrels to return human form only after three years, if they subside and regularly carry out their dog service - guard the house and yard.

Months give gifts and sleighs drawn by horses to the stepdaughter. The Queen also wants to be in a sleigh, but she can only order. The professor teaches the Queen how to ask "kindly" and not to tell "like a king." She, having broken her arrogance, asks Stepherits to take them home. The girl agrees. The queen, her teacher, and the stepdaughter herself sit in the sleigh, and the Soldier climbs into the driver’s place.

All say goodbye to the months, leaving home. The brothers stay by the fire.

The above is a summary of the "Twelve Months" by Marshak, which he wrote for the theater.

What is the difference of stories

In the fairy tale, prose, at least heroes - except for twelve months brothers (of which only three take part in the plot - January, February and March), there is a Stepheritsa, as well as Stepmother and her Daughter.

The denouement and the plot itself is close to the Russian folk tale "Frost" and similar traditional scenes - the heroine for hardworking and humility is presented with gifts, and the daughter-greedy and lazy gets what they deserve. Only in the role of magical power is not Santa Claus, but twelve months brothers.

Performance "Twelve Months"

Much more extensive list of heroes of the fairy tale "The Twelve Months" Marshak, if we talk about the play. Together with the main and secondary all twenty-eight.

The plot is somewhat modified. At the end of the story, the Queen’s “reeducation” takes place along with the award of the Stepdaughter. Thus, in the play there are, as it were, two independent plots, which at the end are woven together.

You can also pay attention to the detail: Stepdaughter snowdrops helps to find not March anymore, as in the prosaic history, but April.

To the positive qualities of a stepdaughter, loyalty to this promise is added - even when the Queen threatens her with execution, she does not tell how the snowdrops have got to her.

We talked about both versions of the works "Twelve Months" by Marshak.

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