1 Gregor's little legs whirred, at last he could eat.
2 The sudden noise behind Gregor so startled him that his little legs collapsed under him.
3 His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.
4 The whole of his left side seemed like one, painfully stretched scar, and he limped badly on his two rows of legs.
5 Now he let himself fall against the back of a nearby chair and held tightly to the edges of it with his little legs.
6 Once there he let go of it and threw himself onto the door, holding himself upright against it using the adhesive on the tips of his legs.
7 This was no surprise to him, it seemed rather that being able to actually move around on those spindly little legs until then was unnatural.
8 One of the legs had been badly injured in the events of that morning - it was nearly a miracle that only one of them had been - and dragged along lifelessly.
9 With his head and legs pulled in against him and his body pressed to the floor, he was forced to admit to himself that he could not stand all of this much longer.
10 Gregor's body was indeed completely dried up and flat, they had not seen it until then, but now he was not lifted up on his little legs, nor did he do anything to make them look away.
11 His mother lay in her chair with her legs stretched out and pressed against each other, her eyes nearly closed with exhaustion; his sister sat next to his father with her arms around his neck.
12 He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before.
13 He would have used his arms and his hands to push himself up; but instead of them he only had all those little legs continuously moving in different directions, and which he was moreover unable to control.
14 If he wanted to bend one of them, then that was the first one that would stretch itself out; and if he finally managed to do what he wanted with that leg, all the others seemed to be set free and would move about painfully.
15 It took just as much effort to get back to where he had been earlier, but when he lay there sighing, and was once more watching his legs as they struggled against each other even harder than before, if that was possible, he could think of no way of bringing peace and order to this chaos.
16 Two strong people - he had his father and the maid in mind - would have been more than enough; they would only have to push their arms under the dome of his back, peel him away from the bed, bend down with the load and then be patient and careful as he swang over onto the floor, where, hopefully, the little legs would find a use.
17 Hardly had that happened than, for the first time that day, he began to feel alright with his body; the little legs had the solid ground under them; to his pleasure, they did exactly as he told them; they were even making the effort to carry him where he wanted to go; and he was soon believing that all his sorrows would soon be finally at an end.
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