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Apple conjures up 'Once Upon a Time' pilot for free

The 12 Days of Gifts app continues its merrymaking with a free download for the pilot to the popular ABC TV series.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Apple is sprinkling a little fairy dust for the second day of its 12 Days of Gifts app.

The app offers a new free digital gift every day from December 26 to January 6. Launching it today grants you the pilot episode to the ABC show "Once Upon a Time." Just open the app, tap on the button to View Gift, and then select the pilot episode to download it on your iPhone or iPad.

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, "Once Upon a Time," or OUAT as it's known to fans, imagines a reality in which fairy tale characters are more than just myths. You follow the adventures of our heroine, Emma Swan, as she encounters Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, and an array of other characters from our childhood.

The pilot episode reveals how Emma gets dragged to the strange land of Storybrooke after the 10-year-old child that she gave up for adoption finds her. And from then on, Emma's life is never quite the same.

My wife and I discovered OUAT during its first season and have been hooked on it ever since. The latest episodes of the show are available on ABC's Web site and on Hulu, while the first two seasons are on Netflix. But Apple's holiday gift gives loyal viewers and newcomers a chance to go back to the beginning for free.

The 12 Days of Gifts app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch but requires iOS 7 or higher.