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The Transformation

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Rating: PG-13

I.

When Gregor Samsa woke up from troubled dreams one morning, he found himself transformed into a monstrous vermin in his bed. He lay on his armor-like hard back and, when he lifted his head a little, saw his arched, brown belly, divided by arched stiffeners, at the level of which the bedspread, ready to slide down completely, could hardly be preserved. His many legs, pitifully thin compared to his normal size, flickered helplessly in front of his eyes.

"What happened to me?" He thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a real human room, just a little too small, lay quietly between the four well-known walls. Above the table, on which an unpacked collection of samples of cloth goods was spread out - Samsa was a traveler - hung the picture he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and placed in a pretty gilded frame. It represented a lady who, wearing a fur hat and a fur boa, sat upright and raised a heavy fur muff, in which her entire forearm had disappeared, towards the viewer.

Gregor's gaze then turned to the window, and the cloudy weather - you could hear raindrops hitting the window plate - made him very melancholy. “How about I sleep a little longerand forget all follies, "he thought, but that was utterly impracticable, for he was used to sleeping on the right side, but in his present condition could not bring himself into this position. Whatever force he used to throw himself on his right side, he kept rocking back on his back. He tried it a hundred times, closed his eyes so as not to have to see the wriggling legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a light, dull pain in his side that he had never felt before.

“Oh God,” he thought, “what a strenuous job I have chosen! Day out, day in on the journey. The business excitement is much greater than in the actual business at home, and besides this, I have the plague of traveling, worries about train connections, the irregular, bad food, ever changing, never lasting, never warming human traffic. Let the devil get it all! ”He felt a slight itch on the top of his stomach; slowly pushed himself closer to the bedpost on his back so that he could lift his head better; found the itchy spot, which was covered with lots of little white dots, which he did not know how to judge; and wanted to feel the spot with one leg, but pulled it back at once, because at the touch he felt chills.

It slipped back into its previous position. “Getting up early,” he thought, “makes you very stupid. Man must have his sleep. Other travelers live like harem women. For example, when I go back to the inn in the morning to write down the orders I have received, these gentlemen are only sitting at breakfast. This shouldI try at my boss; I would fly out on the spot. By the way, who knows if that wouldn't be very good for me. If I didn't hold back because of my parents, I would have quit long ago, I would have approached the boss and told him my opinion from the bottom of my heart. He should have fallen from the desk! It is also a strange way of sitting on the desk and talking to the clerk from a height, who, moreover, has to come very close because of the boss's hearing loss. Well, hope has not completely given up, once I have collected the money to pay off my parents' debt to him - it should take another five to six years - I'll definitely do it. Then the big cut is made. For the time being, however, I have to get up because my train leaves at five. "

And he looked over at the alarm clock ticking on the box. "Heavenly Father!" He thought. It was six thirty and the hands went quietly forward, it was even half past, it was already three quarters of the way. Shouldn't the alarm have gone off? From the bed you could see that it was set correctly for four o'clock; surely he had rang the bell too. Yes, but was it possible to sleep through this furniture-shaking bell? Well, he hadn't slept quietly, but probably all the more firmly. But what should he do now? The next train left at seven o'clock; he would have had to hurry to catch up with it, and the collection wasn’t packed, and he himself didn’t feel particularly fresh and agile. And even if he caught up with the train, a thunderstorm from the boss was inevitable,and reported his failure to do so long ago. It was a creature of the boss, without a backbone or mind. What if he called in sick? That would be extremely embarrassing and suspicious, because Gregor had not even been sick during his five years' service. The boss would certainly come with the health insurance doctor, reproach the parents for the lazy son and cut off all objections by referring to the health insurance doctor, for whom there are only very healthy but work-shy people. And would he, by the way, be completely wrong in this case? Gregor actually felt quite well, apart from a really superfluous sleepiness after a long sleep, and was even very hungry.

When he was thinking about all this in a great hurry, without being able to make up his mind to get out of bed - the alarm clock just struck a quarter to seven - there was a careful knock on the door at the head of his bed. "Gregor," cried it - it was the mother - "it is a quarter to seven. Didn't you want to go away? ”The soft voice! Gregor was startled when he heard his answering voice, which was unmistakably his earlier voice, but into which, as if from below, was mixed an unmistakable, painful beeping, which literally left the words in their clarity only for the first moment To destroy them in the aftermath in such a way that one did not know whether one had heard correctly. Gregor had wanted to answer in detail and explain everything, but under these circumstances limited himself to saying: "Yes, yes, thank you, mother, I'll get up already.and slurped away. But the little conversation had made the other family members aware that Gregor was still at home, contrary to expectations, and his father was knocking on the side door, weakly but with his fist. "Gregor, Gregor," he called, "what is it?" And after a little while he warned again in a deeper voice: "Gregor! Gregor! "At the other side door, however, the nurse complained softly:" Gregor? Are you not well? Do you need something? ”Gregor answered on both sides:“ I'm already done, ”and tried to take away everything that was conspicuous by means of the most careful pronunciation and by inserting long pauses between the individual words of his voice. The father also returned to his breakfast, but the sister whispered: “Gregor, open up, I swear to you.

At first he wanted to get up quietly and undisturbed, get dressed and, above all, have breakfast, and only then think about further things, because, as he probably noticed, he would not end up thinking properly in bed. He remembered several times in bed having felt some kind of slight pain, perhaps caused by lying awkwardly, which turned out to be pure imagination when he got up, and he was curious to see how his present-day ideas would gradually dissolve. He had no doubt that the change in voice was nothing more than the harbinger of a severe cold, an occupational disease of travelers.

Throwing off the blanket was easy; he only had to inflate himself a little and it fell on its own. But it was still difficult, especially because it was so incredibly wide. He would have needed arms and hands to stand up; instead, however, he had only the many little legs, which were continuously in various movements and which, moreover, he could not control. If he wanted to buckle one of them, it was the first thing that he stretched; and if he finally succeeded in doing what he wanted with this leg, all the others were now working, as if released, in the utmost painful excitement. "Just don't waste your time in bed," said Gregor to himself.

At first he wanted to get out of bed with the lower part of his body, but this lower part, which, by the way, he had not yet seen and which he could not really imagine, turned out to be too difficult to move; it went so slowly; and when at last, almost wild, he pushed himself forward with all his strength and without consideration, he had chosen the wrong direction, hit the lower bedpost violently, and the burning pain he felt told him that it was precisely the lower part of his body was perhaps the most sensitive at the moment.

So he tried to get his torso out of bed first and carefully turned his head towards the edge of the bed. It was easy to do, and, despite its width and heaviness, eventually the body mass slowly followed the turn of the head. But when he finally held his head in the open air outside of the bed, he was afraid to continue advancing this way, because if he finally diddropped, a miracle had to happen if the head wasn't to be injured. And right now he couldn't lose his senses at any cost; he would rather stay in bed.

But when, after the same effort, he lay there sighing as he had before, and saw his legs fighting each other even more angrily and found no way of bringing peace and order to this arbitrariness, he said to himself again that he could not possibly stay in bed and that the most sensible thing would be to sacrifice everything if there was even the slightest hope of getting rid of bed. At the same time, however, he did not forget to remind himself from time to time that it is much better to consider calm and calm than desperate decisions. At such moments he fixed his eyes as keenly as possible on the window, but unfortunately the sight of the morning mist, which even obscured the other side of the narrow street, gave little confidence or cheerfulness. "Already seven o'clock,

But then he said to himself, “Before it hits a quarter past eight, I must have got out of bed completely. By the way, someone will come out of the shop until then to ask about me, because the shop will open before seven o'clock. 'And now he set about rocking his body completely evenly out of bed over its entire length. If he let himself fall out of bed in this way, the head remained, which he lifted sharply when fallingwanted, probably unharmed. The back seemed hard; nothing would happen to him if it fell on the carpet. The greatest misgivings made him consider the loud noise that would have to be made and which would probably arouse, if not horror, concern behind all the doors. But that had to be risked.

When Gregor was halfway out of bed - the new method was more a game than an effort, he only had to rock jerkily - it occurred to him how easy everything would be if someone came to his aid. Two strong people - he thought of his father and the maid - would have been entirely enough; all they had to do was slide their arms under his arched back, peel him out of bed like that, bend down with the burden, and then just carefully allow him to float on the floor, where hopefully the legs would then make sense. Well, aside from the fact that the doors were locked, should he really have called for help? Despite all the adversity, he couldn't suppress a smile at the thought.

He was already so far that he could hardly keep his balance when rocking harder, and very soon he had to make a final decision, because it was a quarter past five in five minutes - when the doorbell rang. "That's someone out of business," he said to himself, and almost froze, while his legs only danced all the more quickly. For a moment everything was still. "You're not opening," said Gregor to himself, caught in some nonsensical hope. But then of course, as always, the maid walked steadily to the door and opened it. Gregor neededto hear only the first greeting from the visitor and already knew who it was - the authorized signatory himself. Why was only Gregor condemned to serve at a company where the slightest neglect would lead to the greatest suspicion? Were all employees all rags and rags, wasn't there a loyal, devoted person among them who, if he hadn't taken advantage of even a few hours of the morning for business, got mad with remorse and was downright unable to get out of bed? If it really wasn't enough to have an apprentice ask questions at all - if this questioning was necessary at all - the chief clerk had to come himself and thus had to be shown to the whole innocent family, that the investigation of this suspicious matter could only be entrusted to the mind of the chief clerk? And more as a result of the excitement in which these reflections caused Gregor than as a result of a correct decision, he swung himself out of bed with all his might. There was a loud thump, but it wasn't a real crash. The case was weakened a little by the carpet, and the back was more elastic than Gregor had thought, hence the not so noticeable muffled sound. Only he had not held his head carefully enough and hit it; he turned it and rubbed it on the carpet in anger and pain. There was a loud thump, but it wasn't a real crash. The case was weakened a little by the carpet, and the back was more elastic than Gregor had thought, hence the not so noticeable muffled sound. Only he had not held his head carefully enough and hit it; he turned it and rubbed it on the carpet in anger and pain. There was a loud thump, but it wasn't a real crash. The case was weakened a little by the carpet, and the back was more elastic than Gregor had thought, hence the not so noticeable muffled sound. Only he had not held his head carefully enough and hit it; he turned it and rubbed it on the carpet in anger and pain.

"Something fell in there," said the chief clerk in the next room on the left. Gregor tried to imagine whether something similar might happen to the chief clerk as it did to him today; the possibility of that had to be admitted. But how did the general manager give a rough answer to this question?a few specific steps in the next room and let his patent leather boots creak. From the next room on the right the nurse whispered to inform Gregor: "Gregor, the manager is here." "I know," said Gregor to himself; but so loud that his sister could have heard, he dared not raise his voice.

"Gregor," said the father from the next room on the left, "the chief clerk has come and asks why you didn't take the early train away. We don't know what to tell him. By the way, he also wants to speak to you personally. So please open the door. He'll be kind enough to excuse the mess in the room. ”“ Good morning, Herr Samsa, ”the chief clerk shouted in a friendly manner. "He's not feeling well," said the mother to the general manager, while the father was still talking at the door, "he is not feeling well, believe me, Mr. General Manager. How else would Gregor miss a train! The boy has nothing on his mind but business. I'm almost annoyed that he never goes out in the evening; now he had been in town for eight days, but he was home every evening. He's sitting at our table and quietly reading the newspaper or studying timetables. It is quite a distraction for him when he is busy with fretwork. For example, over the course of two or three evenings he carved a small frame; You will be amazed how handsome he is; he hangs in the room; You will see him in a moment when Gregor opens the door. Incidentally, I am happy that you are here, Mr. Prokurist; we alone would not have got Gregor to open the door; he's so persistent; and he is certainly not well, in spite of the fact that he denied it in the morning You will see him in a moment when Gregor opens the door. Incidentally, I am happy that you are here, Mr. Prokurist; we alone would not have got Gregor to open the door; he's so persistent; and he is certainly not well, in spite of the fact that he denied it in the morning You will see him in a moment when Gregor opens the door. Incidentally, I am happy that you are here, Mr. Prokurist; we alone would not have got Gregor to open the door; he's so persistent; and he is certainly not well, in spite of the fact that he denied it in the morning"I'll be right there," said Gregor slowly and carefully, not moving so as not to lose a word of the conversation. "I can't explain it to myself any other way, madam," said the chief clerk, "I hope it's not serious. On the other hand, I have to say that we business people - unfortunately or fortunately - have to overcome a slight malaise very often for business reasons. ' turn to the door. "No," said Gregor. In the next room on the left there was an embarrassing silence, in the next room on the right the sister began to sob.

Why didn't the sister go to the others? She had probably only got out of bed now and hadn't even started to get dressed. And why was she crying? Because he didn't get up and didn't let the general manager in, because he was in danger of losing his position and because then the boss would persecute his parents again with the old demands? For the time being, those were probably unnecessary worries. Gregor was still here and didn't think in the least about leaving his family. For a moment he was probably lying there on the carpet, and no one who had known his condition would have seriously asked him to let the chief clerk in. But because of this little rudeness, for which a suitable excuse could easily be found later, Gregor couldn't have been sent away immediately. And it seemed to Gregor that it would be far more sensible to leave him alone now than to disturb him with weeping and persuasion. But it was precisely the uncertainty that oppressed the others and excused their behavior.

“Mr. Samsa,” the general manager called out in a raised voice, “what's going on? You barricade yourself there in your room, only answer yes and no, cause your parents serious, unnecessary worries and - this is only mentioned in passing - neglect your business duties in an unheard-of way. I am speaking here on behalf of your parents and your boss, and I sincerely ask you for an immediate, clear explanation. I am amazed, I am amazed. I thought I knew you as a calm, sensible person, and now you suddenly seem to want to start parading in strange moods. Although the boss indicated to me this morning a possible explanation for your omission - it concerned the debt collection that was recently entrusted to you - but I really almost took my word of honor for it, that this explanation could not be correct. But now I see your incomprehensible stubbornness and completely lose any desire to do anything for you. And your position is by no means the most stable. I originally intended to tell you all this in private, but since you are wasting my time here, I don't know why your parents shouldn't find out too. So your recent achievements have been very unsatisfactory; It is true that it is not the time of year to do special business, we acknowledge that; but there is no time of year when you don't do business, Mr. Samsa, there mustn't be. " And your position is by no means the most stable. I originally intended to tell you all this in private, but since you are wasting my time here, I don't know why your parents shouldn't find out too. So your recent achievements have been very unsatisfactory; It is true that it is not the time of year to do special business, we acknowledge that; but there is no time of year when you don't do business, Mr. Samsa, there mustn't be. " And your position is by no means the most stable. I originally intended to tell you all this in private, but since you are wasting my time here, I don't know why your parents shouldn't find out too. So your recent achievements have been very unsatisfactory; It is true that it is not the time of year to do special business, we acknowledge that; but there is no time of year when you don't do business, Mr. Samsa, there mustn't be. " It is true that it is not the time of year to do special business, we acknowledge that; but there is no time of year when you don't do business, Mr. Samsa, there mustn't be. " It is true that it is not the time of year to do special business, we acknowledge that; but there is no time of year when you don't do business, Mr. Samsa, there mustn't be. "

“But Herr Prokurist,” cried Gregor, beside himself, forgetting everything else in the excitement, “I'll open up immediately, instantly. A slight malaise, an attack of dizziness, prevented me from getting up. II'm still in bed now. But now I'm fresh again. I'm just getting out of bed. Just be patient for a moment! It's not going as well as I thought. But I am fine. How that can only attack a person like that! Yesterday evening I was fine, my parents know it, or rather, I had a little premonition last night. You should have seen it at me. Why didn't I report it to the store! But you always think that you will get through the illness without staying home. Mr. Authorized Officer! Take care of my parents! There is no reason for all of the reproaches you are now making against me; I wasn't told a word about it either. You may not have read the last few orders I sent. By the way, I'm still going on the journey with the eight o'clock train, the few hours of rest strengthened me. Just don't linger, Mr. Prokurist; I'll be in the business in a moment, and you’re kind enough to say that and recommend myself to the boss! "

And while Gregor rushed all this out and hardly knew what he was talking about, he had easily approached the box, probably as a result of the practice he had already acquired in bed, and was now trying to get up on it. He actually wanted to open the door, actually to be seen, and to speak to the manager; he was eager to know what the others who wanted him now would say when he saw him. If they were frightened, Gregor no longer had any responsibility and could be calm. But if they were to take everything calmly, then he had no reason to be upset either, and if he hurried he could actually be at the station by eight o'clock. At first it slipped several times from the smooth boxoff, but at last he gave himself one last swing and stood upright; he paid no more attention to the pain in his abdomen, no matter how much it burned. Now he let himself fall against the back of a nearby chair, the edges of which he held onto with his little legs. But with that he had also gained control over himself and fell silent, because now he could listen to the chief clerk.

"Did you understand a single word?" Asked the chief clerk, "Isn't he making a fool of us?" we torture him. Grete! She then shouted. "Mother?" Called the sister from the other side. They communicated through Gregor's room. “You must see a doctor immediately. Gregor is sick. See the doctor quickly. Have you heard Gregor speak now? '' That was the voice of an animal, 'said the chief clerk, remarkably quiet compared to the mother's screams. “Anna! Anna! "Called the father through the anteroom into the kitchen and clapped his hands," get a locksmith at once! "And then the two girls with rustling skirts were running through the anteroom - how did the sister get dressed so quickly? - and ripped open the apartment door. You couldn't hear the door slamming; they had probably left it open, as it usually is in apartments in which a great misfortune has occurred.

But Gregor had become much calmer. One no longer understood his words, although they had seemed clear enough to him, clearer than before, perhaps as a result of the ear's getting used to. But at least one now believed that it was not quite all right with him, and was ready to accept himto help. The confidence and security with which the first orders had been made did him good. He felt himself included again in the human circle and hoped from both, the doctor and the locksmith, without actually separating them, great and surprising achievements. In order to get as clear a voice as possible for the approaching crucial discussions, he coughed a little, but tried to do this in a muffled manner, since this sound might already sounded different from a human cough, which he no longer dared to make up for himself . It had become very quiet in the next room. Perhaps the parents were sitting at the table with the general manager, whispering, perhaps everyone was leaning against the door and listening.

Gregor slowly pushed himself towards the door with the chair, let go of it there, threw himself against the door, held himself up against it - the balls of his legs had a little glue - and rested there for a moment from the exertion. But then he set about turning the key in the lock with his mouth. Unfortunately it seemed that he had no real teeth - what should he use to grasp the key? - but the jaws were of course very strong, with their help he really set the key in motion and did not pay attention to the fact that he was undoubtedly doing some damage to himself, because a brown liquid came out of his mouth, flowed over the key and dripped on the ground. "Just listen," said the chief clerk in the next room, "he's turning the key." That was a great encouragement for Gregor;they should have shouted, "Always come close to the lock!" And thinking that all his efforts were being followed with tension, he bit into the key with whatever strength he could muster. As the turn of the key progressed he danced around the lock, now holding himself upright with his mouth only, and depending on the need he hung on the key or then pressed it down again with the whole weight of his body. The lighter sound of the lock finally snapping back literally woke Gregor. With a sigh of relief he said to himself: "So I didn't need the locksmith," and put his head on the handle to open the door completely.

Since he had to open the door in this way, it was actually already quite wide open and he himself could not yet be seen. He had to turn slowly around one of the doors, and very carefully if he didn't want to fall on his back before entering the room. He was still busy with that difficult movement and didn't have time to pay attention to anything else, when he heard the chief clerk utter a loud "Oh!" - it sounded like the wind was blowing - and now he saw him, too who was next to the door, pressed his hand to his open mouth and slowly backed away, as if an invisible, steady force was driving him away. The mother - she stood here despite the presence of the chief clerk, still dissolved from the night,Chest lowered. The father clenched his fist with a hostile expression, as if he wanted to push Gregor back into his room, then looked uncertainly around the living room, then shaded his eyes with his hands and wept so that his mighty chest shook.

Gregor did not step into the room at all, but leaned from the inside against the bolted door wing so that only half of his body could be seen, and above it the head tilted to one side, with which he peered at the others. It had gotten a lot lighter now; Clearly on the other side of the street was a section of the endless gray-black house opposite - it was a hospital - with its regular windows that pierced the front; the rain was still falling, but only with large, individually visible and literally also individually thrown drops onto the earth. The breakfast dishes were in abundance on the table, because for the father breakfast was the most important meal of the day, which he dragged on for hours reading various newspapers. On the opposite wall there was a photograph of Gregor from his military service, depicting him as a lieutenant, with his hand on his sword, smiling carelessly and demanding respect for his posture and uniform. The door to the anteroom was open and, since the door to the apartment was also open, one could see out into the forecourt of the apartment and at the beginning of the staircase leading downwards.

“Well,” said Gregor, who was well aware that he was the only one who had remained calm, “I'll get dressed in a minute, pack up the collection and drive away. Do you want, do you wantlet me drive away Well, Mr. Prokurist, you see, I am not stubborn and I like to work; traveling is arduous, but I couldn't live without traveling. Where are you going, Mr. Prokurist? Into business? Yes? Will you report everything truthfully? One may be unable to work at the moment, but then it is just the right time to remember previous achievements and to consider that later, after the obstacle has been removed, one will certainly work more diligently and collectively. I am so indebted to the boss, you know that very well. On the other hand, I am worried about my parents and my sister. I'm in a tight spot, but I'll work my way out again. But don't make it harder for me than it already is. Keep my party in business! You don't love the traveler, I know. One thinks he earns a lot of money and leads a nice life. You have no particular reason to think through this prejudice better. But you, Mr. Prokurist, you have a better overview of the situation than the other staff, yes even, to put it in confidence, a better overview than the boss himself, who in his capacity as an entrepreneur is slightly unfavorable in his judgment confused an employee. They also know very well that the traveler, who is out of business almost all year round, can so easily become a victim of gossip, coincidences and unfounded complaints, against which it is quite impossible for him to defend himself, since he usually even gets from them does not find out anything and only when he has finished a journey exhausted,Body gets to feel. Authorized officer, don't go away without saying a word to me that shows that you agree with me, at least in part! "

But the chief clerk had already turned away at Gregor's first words, and only looked back at Gregor over his twitching shoulder with open lips. And during Gregor's speech he did not stand still for a moment, but withdrew to the door without taking his eyes off Gregor, but very gradually, as if there were a secret prohibition on leaving the room. He was already in the anteroom, and after the sudden movement with which he pulled his foot out of the living room for the last time, one could have believed that his sole had just been burned. In the anteroom, however, he stretched his right hand far from him to the stairs, as if an almost supernatural release was waiting for him there.

Gregor realized that he shouldn't let the manager go away in this mood if it didn't endanger his position in the business in the extreme. The parents did not understand all this very well; Over the years they had become convinced that Gregor was provided for his life in this business, and besides, they were now so busy with the current worries that they had lost all foresight. But Gregor had this foresight. The chief clerk had to be retained, reassured, convinced and finally won over; the future of Gregor and his family depended on it! If only the sister had been here! She was clever; she had already cried while Gregor was still lying quietly on his back. And the general manager, this lady friend, would certainly have stayed away from herlet steer; she would have closed the apartment door and talked him out of the horror in the anteroom. But the sister wasn't there, Gregor had to act himself. And without thinking that he did not even know his present ability to move, without also thinking that his speech might - probably again - not been understood, he left the door; pushed through the opening; wanted to go to the general manager, who was already holding onto the railing of the forecourt with both hands, ridiculously; but immediately fell down on his many legs with a little scream, looking for something to hold on to. No sooner had that happened than that morning he felt a physical well-being for the first time; the legs had solid ground under them; they obeyed completely, as he noted to his delight; even strove to carry him away wherever he wished; and already he believed that the final improvement of all suffering was imminent. But at the same moment when he was rocking with restrained movement, not far from his mother, lying across from her on the floor, she, who seemed so completely absorbed, suddenly jumped up, arms wide outstretched, fingers splayed, shouted: "Help, for God's sake, help!", tilted her head as if she wanted to see Gregor better, but ran back, in contradiction to this, pointlessly; had forgotten that the set table was behind her; When she got to him, she sat down in a hurry, as if absent-mindedly, and did not seem to notice

"Mother, mother," said Gregor softly, and watchedher up. For a moment he had completely lost his mind on the chief clerk; on the other hand, he couldn't fail to snap his jaw into space several times at the sight of the coffee flowing. The mother recently screamed about this, fled from the table and fell into the arms of the father who was hurrying towards her. But Gregor now had no time for his parents; the chief clerk was already on the stairs; chin on the railing, he looked back for the last time. Gregor made a run to catch up with him as safely as possible; the chief clerk must have suspected something because he jumped several steps and disappeared; "Huh!" But he still shouted, it sounded through the whole stairwell. Unfortunately, this flight of the general manager now also seemed to completely confuse his father, who had hitherto been relatively calm. because instead of running after the general manager himself or at least not hindering Gregor in his pursuit, he grabbed the manager's stick with his right hand, which the manager had left behind on an armchair with his hat and overcoat, took a large newspaper from the table with his left hand and made himself trampling on to drive Gregor back to his room by waving the stick and the newspaper. No request from Gregor helped, no request was understood, no matter how humbly he turned his head, his father just stamped his feet harder. Over there, in spite of the cold weather, his mother had opened a window, and was leaning out, holding her face in her hands far outside the window. There was a strong draft between the alley and the stairwell, the window curtains flew open, the newspapers rustled on the table, individual leaves wafted across the ground. Inexorably the father pushed and pushedSibilance like a savage. Now Gregor hadn't had any practice walking backwards, it was really going very slowly. If Gregor had only been allowed to turn around, he would have been in his room straight away, but he was afraid of making his father impatient with the time-consuming turn, and at any moment he was threatened with a fatal blow on the back from the stick in his father's hand or upside down. In the end, however, Gregor had no other choice, for he noticed with horror that he could not even keep to the direction when walking backwards; and so he began to turn around as quickly as possible, but in reality only very slowly, with incessant anxious sideways glances at his father. Perhaps the father noticed his goodwill, because he did not disturb him here, but here and there even directed the turning movement from a distance with the tip of his stick. If only it hadn't been for that unbearable hissing hiss from the father! Gregor completely lost his head over this. He was almost completely turned around when, always listening to this hissing, he even made a mistake and turned back a little. But when he was finally happy with his head in front of the doorway, it turned out that his body was too wide to get through easily. Of course, in his current state of mind, the father didn't even remotely think of opening the other door leaf in order to create a sufficient passage for Gregor. His obsession was just that Gregor had to get to his room as quickly as possible. He would never have allowed the laborious preparations that Gregor needed, to stand up and maybe get through the door that way. Perhaps he was drifting as if there werethere was no obstacle to Gregor now moving forward with a particular noise; behind Gregor it no longer sounded like the voice of just one father; Now there was really no more fun, and Gregor pushed his way - be it what may - into the door. One side of his body rose, he lay crooked in the doorway, one side of his was rubbed very sore, ugly stains remained on the white door, soon he was stuck and could no longer move on his own, his legs hanging on one side trembling up in the air, those on the other were painfully pressed to the ground - then his father gave him from behind a truly relieving push, and he flew far into his room, bleeding profusely. The door was slammed with the stick, then it was finally quiet.

II.

It was only at dusk that Gregor woke up from his heavy, faint-like sleep. He would certainly not have woken up much later without being disturbed, for he felt sufficiently rested and well rested, but it seemed to him as if a quick step and a careful closing of the door leading to the anteroom had woken him up. The glow of the electric tram lay pale here and there on the ceiling and on the higher parts of the furniture, but it was dark downstairs at Gregor's. Slowly he pushed his way to the door, still clumsily groping with his feelers, which he was only now learning to appreciate, to see what had happened there. His left side seemed like a single long, uncomfortably tense scar, and he had to limp on the two rows of his legs. Incidentally, there was a leg in the course of the morningsIncidents seriously injured - it was almost a miracle only one had been injured - and dragged lifelessly behind.

Only at the door did he notice what had actually drawn him there; it had been the smell of something edible. Because there was a bowl filled with sweet milk, in which small slices of white bread floated. He almost laughed with joy, because he was even more hungry than in the morning, and immediately he dipped his head into the milk almost up to his eyes. But soon, disappointed, he withdrew it again; Not only was it difficult for him to eat because of his delicate left side - and he could only eat when his whole body puffed up - he also liked the milk, which was usually his favorite drink and which his sister had surely put in for him , not at all, yes, he turned away from the bowl with almost reluctance and crawled back to the center of the room.

In the living room, as Gregor saw through the crack in the door, the gas was lit, but while father used to read his afternoon newspaper to his mother and sometimes to his sister in a raised voice at this time of day, no sound was heard now. Now maybe this reading, which his sister always told and wrote about, had gotten out of practice recently. But it was also so quiet all around, although the apartment was certainly not empty. "What a quiet life the family led," said Gregor to himself and, while he stared straight ahead into the darkness, felt a great pride that he had given his parents and sister such a life in such a beautiful apartmentbe able. But how if now all rest, all prosperity, all contentment should come to an end in horror? In order not to lose himself in such thoughts, Gregor preferred to move and crawl up and down the room.

Once during the long evening one of the side doors and once the other was opened up to a small crack and quickly closed again; someone felt the need to come in, but again too many concerns. Gregor stopped right at the living room door, determined to somehow bring the hesitant visitor in, or at least to find out who it was; but now the door was no longer opened and Gregor waited in vain. Early, when the doors were locked, everyone had wanted to come in, now that he had opened one door and the others had apparently been opened during the day, no one came anymore, and the keys were now also in the outside.

It wasn't until late at night that the light in the living room went out, and now it was easy to see that the parents and sister had stayed awake for so long because, as one could clearly hear, all three were now tiptoeing away. Certainly no one came in to Gregor's house until morning; So he had a long time to think about how to rearrange his life. But the high free room, in which he was forced to lie flat on the floor, frightened him without being able to find out the cause, for it had been the room he had lived in for five years - and with a semi-unconscious twist and not without a slight shame he hurried under the sofa, where he was, despite his back a little was pressed and although he could no longer raise his head, immediately felt very comfortable and only regretted that his body was too wide to be completely accommodated under the sofa.

There he stayed the whole night, some of which he spent half asleep, from which he was repeatedly startled by hunger, but sometimes in worries and vague hopes, which all led to the conclusion that he would remain calm for the time being and go through with it Patience and the greatest consideration of the family had to make the inconvenience bearable which he was forced to cause them in his present condition.

In the early morning, it was almost still night, Gregor had the opportunity to test the strength of the decisions he had just made, because from the anteroom, almost completely dressed, the sister opened the door and looked in with tension. She didn't find him straight away, but when she noticed him under the sofa - God, it must be somewhere, he couldn't fly away - she was so shocked that, without being able to control herself, she slammed the door again from the outside . But as if regretting her behavior, she opened the door again immediately and stepped in on tiptoe, as if she were with a seriously ill person or even with a stranger. Gregor had pushed his head up to the edge of the sofa and was watching her. Would she notice that he had left the milk, and not because of lack of hunger? and whether she would bring in some other food that better suited him? If she didn't do it of her own accord, he'd rather starve to death than point it out to her, even though he really felt the urge to go under the sofaShoot forward, throw yourself at the sister's feet and ask her for something nice to eat. But the nurse immediately noticed with astonishment the still full bowl, from which only a little milk had spilled all around, she picked it up, not with her bare hands, but with a rag, and carried it out. Gregor was extremely curious to find out what the replacement would be, and he gave it all kinds of thought. But he could never have guessed what kind of sister she was really doing. To test his taste she brought him a whole selection, all spread out on an old newspaper. There were old half-rotten vegetables; Bones from supper surrounded by white sauce that had set; a couple of raisins and almonds; a cheese, which Gregor had declared inedible two days ago; a dry bread, a bread smeared with butter, and a bread smeared and salted with butter. On top of that, she also put the bowl into which she had poured water, probably intended for Gregor once and for all. And out of tenderness, knowing that Gregor wouldn't eat in front of her, she hurried away and even turned the key so that only Gregor could see that he could make himself as comfortable as he wanted. Gregors legs buzzed when it was time to eat. Incidentally, his wounds must have healed completely, he no longer felt any hindrance, he was amazed and thought of how he cut his finger very little with the knife more than a month ago, and how this wound had hurt him enough the day before yesterday. "Should I have less sensitivity now?" He thought, already sucking greedilythe cheese that he had been drawn to immediately and emphatically over all other dishes. In quick succession, his eyes watering with satisfaction, he ate the cheese, vegetables, and sauce; He didn't like the fresh food, he couldn't even stand the smell, and he even dragged the things he wanted to eat a little further away. He had long since finished everything and was just lying lazily in the same place when the nurse slowly turned the key as a sign that he should withdraw. That startled him immediately, although he was almost asleep, and he hurried back under the sofa. But it cost him a great deal of self-conquest to stay under the sofa even for the short time during which the sister was in the room, for from the abundant food his body had rounded a little, and he could hardly breathe there in the cramped place. Under small attacks of suffocation, he watched with bulging eyes as the unsuspecting sister swept up not only the leftovers with a broom, but even the food that Gregor had not touched at all, as if these too were no longer usable, and how she hastily swept everything in poured a bucket, which she closed with a wooden lid, whereupon she carried everything out. No sooner had she turned around than Gregor pulled himself out from under the sofa and stretched and puffed himself up. but even the food that Gregor had not touched at all, as if these too were no longer usable, and how she hastily poured everything into a bucket, which she closed with a wooden lid, whereupon she carried everything out. No sooner had she turned around than Gregor pulled himself out from under the sofa and stretched and puffed himself up. but even the food that Gregor had not touched at all, as if these too were no longer usable, and how she hastily poured everything into a bucket, which she closed with a wooden lid, whereupon she carried everything out. No sooner had she turned around than Gregor pulled himself out from under the sofa and stretched and puffed himself up.

In this way Gregor got his food every day, once in the morning when the parents and the maid were still asleep, the second time after the general lunch, because then the parents also slept for a while, and the maid was taken care of by the sister with some errand sent away. Certainly they did not want Gregor to starve either, but perhaps they could not have borne to find out more about his meal than through hearsay, perhaps the sister wanted to spare them possibly only a little grief, because in fact they were suffering just enough.

Gregor couldn't find out what excuses they had used to get the doctor and the locksmith out of the apartment that first morning, because since he was not understood, no one thought of it, including the nurse, that he could understand the others, and so when the sister was in his room he had to be content to hear her sighs and calls from the saints only here and there. It was only later, when she had gotten used to everything a little bit - of course there was never any question of getting used to it - that Gregor sometimes caught a comment that was meant to be friendly or could be interpreted as such. "But he liked it today," she said, when Gregor had cleaned up the meal, while in the opposite case, which was gradually repeating itself more and more often, she would say almost sadly:

But while Gregor was unable to get any news immediately, he overheard some things in the next room, and when he heard voices, he ran straight to the door in question and pressed himself against it with all his body. Especially in the early days there was no conversation that was not about him in some way, even if only in secret. For two days deliberations on what to do now could be heard at all meals; but also between meals one talked about the same subject, becauseThere were always at least two family members at home, since nobody wanted to stay at home alone and it was absolutely impossible to leave the apartment entirely. On the very first day - it was not quite clear what and how much she knew about what had happened - the maid had asked her mother on her knees to dismiss her immediately, and when she said goodbye a quarter of an hour later she thanked her for the dismissal with tears as for the greatest benefit that had been done to her here, and, without being asked to do so, made a terrible vow not to reveal the slightest thing to anyone.

Now the sister had to cook together with the mother too; however, it wasn't much trouble, because you hardly ate anything. Again and again Gregor heard how one of them asked the other to eat in vain and got no other answer than: "Thank you, I've had enough" or something similar. Perhaps nothing was drunk either. The sister often asked his father if he wanted a beer, and she cordially offered to fetch it herself, and when the father was silent, she said, to relieve him of any doubts, that she could send the caretaker for it, too, but then finally said the father a big "No" and it was no longer spoken of.

In the course of the first day, the father explained the entire financial situation and prospects for both mother and sister. Every now and then he got up from the table and took from his small treasury which he had saved from the collapse of his business five years ago had some kind of receipt or note book. You could hear him unlocking the complicated lockand locked again after removing what was wanted. These statements by the father were in part the first pleasant things Gregor had to hear since his imprisonment. He had been of the opinion that the father had nothing left of that business, at least his father hadn't told him otherwise, and Gregor hadn't asked him either. At the time, Gregor's only worry was to do everything possible to let the family forget as quickly as possible the business misfortune that had brought everyone into complete hopelessness. And so he had started to work with a very special passion and had turned from a small clerk into a traveler almost overnight, who of course had completely different ways of making money, and whose work results immediately turned into cash in the form of commission, which could be put on the table of the amazed and happy family at home. They had been good times, and never afterwards had they been repeated, at least in this splendor, despite the fact that Gregor later earned so much money that he was and was able to bear the expense of the whole family. You had just got used to it, both the family and Gregor, you accepted the money gratefully, he was happy to deliver it, but there was no longer any special warmth. Only his sister had remained close to Gregor after all, and it was his secret plan to bring her, who, unlike Gregor, loved music very much and knew how to play the violin, next year, regardless of the great costs that would have to cause,send. During Gregor’s short stays in the city, the Conservatory was mentioned in conversations with his sister, but always only as a beautiful dream that could not be realized, and the parents didn’t even listen to these innocent mentions; but Gregor thought of it very firmly and intended to declare it solemnly on Christmas Eve.

Such thoughts, which were completely useless in his present condition, went through his head while he was there, glued to the door and listened. Sometimes he couldn't listen anymore because of the general tiredness and let his head slam carelessly against the door, but held it tight again immediately, because even the small noise he had made with it had been heard next door and had silenced everyone. "Whatever he's doing again," said his father after a while, evidently turning to the door, and only then was the interrupted conversation gradually resumed.

Gregor now found out enough - for his father used to repeat himself often in his explanations, partly because he had not dealt with these things for a long time, partly because his mother did not understand everything the first time - that despite everything Unfortunately, a very small fortune from the old days was still available, which the unaffected interest had in the meantime increased a little. In addition, the money that Gregor had brought home every month - he himself had only kept a few guilders for himself - had not been completely used up and had accumulated in a small amount. Gregor, behind his door, nodded eagerly, pleased with this unexpected oneCaution and thrift. Actually, with this excess money, he could have continued to pay off his father's debt to the boss, and the day when he could have gotten rid of this post would have been much closer, but now it was undoubtedly better the way his father was had set up.

Now this money was by no means enough to let the family live on the interest; Perhaps it was enough to keep the family going for a year or two at the most, it was no more than that. So it was just a sum that was not supposed to be attacked and which had to be set aside for emergencies; but the money to live had to be earned. But now the father was a healthy but old man who hadn't worked for five years and in any case could not trust himself very much; He had put on a lot of fat in those five years, which were the first vacation of his laborious and yet unsuccessful life, and had become quite heavy as a result. And maybe the old mother should earn some money now, who suffered from asthma, which a hike through the apartment was already causing effort, and who spent every other day with difficulty breathing on the sofa by the open window? And the sister was supposed to earn money, who was still a child at the age of seventeen, and which had to be indulged so much in her previous way of life, which had consisted of dressing nicely, sleeping late, helping out in the house, on a few humble pleasures to participate and especially to play the violin? Whenever the question of the need to earn money came up, Gregor always let go of the door first and threw himself on it to help out in business, to partake in a few humble amusements, and above all to play the violin? Whenever the question of the need to earn money came up, Gregor always let go of the door first and threw himself on it to help out in business, to partake in a few humble amusements, and above all to play the violin? Whenever the question of the need to earn money came up, Gregor always let go of the door first and threw himself on itNext to the door there was a cool leather sofa, because he was very hot with shame and sadness.

Often he lay there all long nights, never slept for a moment and only pawed on the leather for hours. Or he didn’t shy away from the great effort of pushing an armchair to the window, then crawling up the window parapet and, propped up in the armchair, leaning against the window, evidently only in some memory of the liberating thing that used to be there for him to look at the window. For, in fact, from day to day he saw things that were even a little distant more and more indistinctly; He never saw the hospital opposite, the all too frequent sight of which he had cursed earlier, and if he had not known for sure that he lived in the quiet but completely urban Charlottenstrasse, he would have believed To look from his window into a wasteland in which the gray sky and the gray earth indistinguishably united. The attentive nurse only had to see the armchair by the window twice, when she pushed the armchair back to the window after she had tidied up the room, and even from now on left the inner casement open.

If Gregor could only have spoken to his sister and thanked her for everything she had to do for him, he would have endured her services more easily; but as it was, he suffered from it. The sister tried, of course, to blur the embarrassment of the whole thing as far as possible, and the longer the time passed, the better she succeeded, of course, but Gregor also saw through everything much more precisely over time. Just entering was terrible for him. No sooner had she entered than she ran without wasting timeto close the door, however much she was careful to avoid the sight of Gregor's room, straight to the window and tore it open with hasty hands as if it were almost suffocating, stayed even if it was so cold was at the window for a while and took a deep breath. With this running and noise, she frightened Gregor twice a day; the whole time he was trembling under the sofa and knew very well that she would certainly have gladly spared him that, if only she had been able to stay in a room where Gregor was with the window closed.

Once, it was probably already a month since Gregor's metamorphosis, and it was no longer a special reason for the sister to be astonished by Gregor's appearance, she came a little earlier than usual and still met Gregor, like him, immobile and so set up to be shocked, looked out the window. It would not have been unexpected for Gregor if she had not entered, since his position prevented her from opening the window immediately, but she not only did not enter, she even retreated and closed the door; a stranger might have thought that Gregor had been lying in wait for her and wanted to bite her. Gregor hid himself under the sofa at once, of course, but he had to wait until noon before his sister came back, and she seemed much more restless than usual. that the sight of him was still unbearable to her, and that she must continue to be unbearable, and that she must have had to overcome herself not to run away from the sight of even the small part of his body with which he protruded from under the sofa. To her this sight tooTo spare, he carried the sheet on his back one day - it took him four hours to do this - and arranged it in such a way that it was now completely covered, and that the nurse even when she bent down couldn't see him. If, in her opinion, this sheet had not been necessary, then she could have removed it, because it was clear enough that Gregor didn’t enjoy locking himself off completely, but she left the sheet as it was and Gregor even thought he had caught a grateful look when he once carefully lifted the sheet a little with his head to see how the nurse was taking on the new furnishings.

For the first fourteen days the parents couldn't bring themselves to come in and he often heard them fully appreciate the sister's current work, whereas up to now they had often been annoyed with the sister for seeing her as something useless girl had appeared. Now, however, both father and mother often waited in front of Gregor's room while his sister was tidying up there, and no sooner had she come out than she had to tell exactly what it looked like in the room, what Gregor had eaten, how he felt this time and whether there was perhaps a slight improvement. Incidentally, the mother wanted to visit Gregor relatively soon, but the father and sister at first held them back with reasons of reason, to which Gregor listened very carefully and which he fully approved.Son! Don't you understand that I have to see him? 'Then Gregor thought that it might be good if mother came in, not every day of course, but maybe once a week; she understood everything much better than her sister, who in spite of all her courage was only a child and, in the end, perhaps only out of childish recklessness had taken on such a difficult task.

Gregor's wish to see his mother soon came true. During the day, out of consideration for his parents, Gregor did not want to show himself at the window, but he could not crawl much on the few square meters of the floor, he already endured lying quietly during the night, and eating soon no longer bothered him the slightest pleasure, and so he took on the habit of crawling across walls and ceilings for diversion. He especially liked to hang up on the ceiling; it was very different from lying on the floor; one breathed more freely; a slight swing went through his body, and in the almost happy absent-mindedness in which Gregor found himself up there, it could happen that, to his own surprise, he let himself go and slapped the floor. But now, of course, he had a completely different control of his body than before and did not damage himself in such a big trap. The sister immediately noticed the new conversation that Gregor had found for himself - he also left traces of his glue here and there while crawling - and then she got it into her head to enable Gregor to crawl to the greatest possible extent and that Furniture that prevented moving away, especially the box and the desk. But now she wasn't To enable Gregor to crawl as much as possible and to move away the furniture that prevented it, especially the box and the desk. But now she wasn't To enable Gregor to crawl as much as possible and to move away the furniture that prevented it, especially the box and the desk. But now she wasn'table to do this alone; she dared not ask her father for help; the maid would certainly not have helped her, because this girl of about sixteen had bravely endured since the previous cook's dismissal, but had asked for the privilege of being able to keep the kitchen locked incessantly and only having to open it on special phone call; so the sister had no choice but to fetch her mother once in her father's absence. Mother came up with exclaims of excited joy, but fell silent at the door to Gregor's room. First of all, of course, the nurse checked that everything was in order in the room; only then did she let her mother in. In a great hurry Gregor had pulled the sheet deeper and more into folds, the whole thing really looked like a sheet that was accidentally thrown over the sofa. This time too Gregor refrained from spying under the sheet; he refrained from seeing his mother this time and was just glad that she had come after all. "Come on, you can't see him," said the sister, and evidently she was leading her mother by the hand. Gregor now heard the two weak women pulling the heavy old box from its place, and how the sister kept doing most of the work for herself without listening to the mother's warnings, who feared that she would overtax herself . It took a long time. Probably after fifteen minutes of work, the mother said it should be better to leave the box here, because firstly it was too heavy, they would not be finished before the father's arrival and would barred every way with the box in the middle of Gregor's room.that Gregor was doing a favor by removing the furniture. You seem to be doing the opposite; the sight of the empty wall almost depresses her heart; and why shouldn't Gregor also have this feeling, since he has long been used to the room furniture and will therefore feel abandoned in the empty room. "And then it is not so," concluded the mother very softly, almost whispering, as if she wanted to avoid Gregor, whose exact whereabouts she did not know, from hearing the sound of the voice, rather than hearing the words did not understand, she was convinced, 'and is it not as if by removing the furniture we were showing that we are giving up all hope of recovery and ruthlessly leaving him to his own devices? I think it would be best if we try to keep the room in exactly the same condition

On hearing these words of his mother Gregor realized that the lack of any direct human address, combined with the monotonous life in the middle of the family, had in the course of these two months confused his mind, for otherwise he could not explain it to himself that he was seriously after it could have asked for his room to be emptied. Did he really feel like having the warm room, comfortably furnished with inherited furniture, transformed into a cave, in which he could of course crawl undisturbed in all directions, but also while at the same time, quickly and completely forgetting his human past? Was he already on the verge of forgettingand only his mother's voice, which he had not heard for a long time, had roused him. Nothing was to be removed, everything had to stay, he could not do without the good effects the furniture had on his condition; and if the furniture prevented him from crawling around senselessly, it was no harm, but a great advantage.

But unfortunately the sister disagreed; she had got into the habit, though not entirely without justification, of appearing as a special expert to the parents when discussing Gregor's affairs, and so the mother's advice was reason enough for the sister to remove not only the box and the desk, which she had thought of alone at first, but to insist on removing all furniture, with the exception of the indispensable sofa. It was of course not just childlike defiance and the self-confidence that she had recently acquired so unexpectedly and so difficultly that determined her to make this demand; she had actually observed that Gregor needed a lot of space to crawl through, but did not use the furniture in the least as far as one could see. Perhaps, however, the enthusiasm of the girls of her age also played a role, seeking satisfaction at every opportunity, and through which Grete was now lured into wanting to make Gregor's situation even more terrifying and then doing even more for him than she has up to now to be able to. Because in a room where Gregor dominated the empty walls by himself, no one except Grete would ever dare to enter.

And so she did not let her mother dissuade her from her decision, who is also in this roomSeemed unsure of the sheer restlessness, soon fell silent and did what she could to help the nurse with the removal of the box. Well, Gregor could still do without the box in an emergency, but the desk had to remain. And no sooner had the women left the room with the box they were groaning to press when Gregor poked his head out from under the sofa to see how he could intervene carefully and as considerately as possible. But unfortunately it was the mother who came back first, while Grete in the next room was holding the box and swinging it back and forth on her own, without, of course, moving it. But his mother was not used to the sight of Gregor, it could have made her sick, and so Gregor hurried backwards to the other end of the sofa. but could no longer prevent the sheet from moving a little at the front. That was enough to draw the mother's attention. She paused, stood still for a moment, and then went back to Grete.

In spite of the fact that Gregor kept telling himself that nothing unusual was going to happen, just a few pieces of furniture were being rearranged, because, as he soon had to admit, the effect of the women going back and forth, their little shouts, the scratching of the furniture on the floor like a great hustle and bustle on him, nourished on all sides, and as tightly as he drew his head and legs to himself and pressed his body to the ground, he inevitably had to say that he would not be able to endure the whole thing for long. They cleared his room for him; took everything that was dear to him; They had already carried out the box containing the fretsaw and other tools; loosenednow the desk, which was already firmly buried in the ground, on which he had written his assignments as a business graduate, as a middle class student, even as a primary school student, - he really had no more time to check the good intentions that the two women had, theirs Incidentally, he had almost forgotten existence, for from exhaustion they were already working in silence, and you could only hear the heavy tapping of their feet.

And so he burst out - the women were leaning against the desk in the next room to take a breather - and changed the direction of the course four times, he really didn't know what to save first, then he looked at the rest of the way The picture of the lady clad in fur, already hanging on the empty wall, hurriedly crawled up and pressed himself against the glass that held him tight and did his hot belly. At least this picture, which Gregor was now completely covering, would certainly not be taken away by anyone. He turned his head to the living room door to watch the women return.

They hadn't allowed themselves much rest and were already coming back; Grete had put her arm around her mother and was almost carrying her. "So what do we take now?" Said Grete, looking around. Her eyes met Gregor's on the wall. It was probably only because of the mother's presence that she kept her composure, bent her face to her mother to keep her from looking around, and said, though trembling and thoughtless: "Come on, don't we want to go back into the living room for a moment?" The intention It was clear to Gregor that Gretes wanted to bring his mother to safety and then chase him off the wall. Well, at least she couldto attempt! He sat in his picture and did not give it away. He'd rather jump in Grete's face.

But Grete's words had really worried her mother, she stepped aside, saw the huge brown spot on the flowered wallpaper, shouted, before she actually realized that it was Gregor, what she saw, in a screaming, hoarse voice: " Oh God, oh God! 'And fell over the sofa with outspread arms, as if she had given up everything, and did not move. "You, Gregor!" Shouted the sister with a raised fist and an urgent look. These were the first words she had addressed directly to him since the metamorphosis. She ran into the next room to get some essence with which she could wake her mother out of her faint; Gregor wanted to help too - there was still time to save the picture -; but it stuck firmly to the glass and had to pull itself away by force; he then ran into the next room, as if he could give the sister some advice, as in earlier times; but then had to stand idly behind her; while she rummaged through various bottles, she was still startled when she turned around; a bottle fell on the floor and broke; a splinter injured Gregor in the face, some caustic medicine flowed around him; Now, without lingering any longer, Grete took as many bottles as she could hold and ran with them to her mother; she slammed the door with her foot. Gregor was now cut off from his mother, who through his guilt was perhaps near death; He couldn't open the door if he didn't want to chase away the sister who had to stay with his mother; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything, but then had to stand idly behind her; while she rummaged through various bottles, she was still startled when she turned around; a bottle fell on the floor and broke; a splinter injured Gregor in the face, some caustic medicine flowed around him; Now, without lingering any longer, Grete took as many bottles as she could hold and ran with them to her mother; she slammed the door with her foot. Gregor was now cut off from his mother, who through his guilt was perhaps near death; He couldn't open the door if he didn't want to chase away the sister who had to stay with his mother; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything, but then had to stand idly behind her; while she rummaged through various bottles, she was still startled when she turned around; a bottle fell on the floor and broke; a splinter injured Gregor in the face, some caustic medicine flowed around him; Now, without lingering any longer, Grete took as many bottles as she could hold and ran with them to her mother; she slammed the door with her foot. Gregor was now cut off from his mother, who through his guilt was perhaps near death; He couldn't open the door if he didn't want to chase away the sister who had to stay with his mother; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything, still startled her when she turned around; a bottle fell on the floor and broke; a splinter injured Gregor in the face, some caustic medicine flowed around him; Now, without lingering any longer, Grete took as many bottles as she could hold and ran with them to her mother; she slammed the door with her foot. Gregor was now cut off from his mother, who through his guilt was perhaps near death; He couldn't open the door if he didn't want to chase away the sister who had to stay with his mother; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything, still startled her when she turned around; a bottle fell on the floor and broke; a splinter injured Gregor in the face, some caustic medicine flowed around him; Now, without lingering any longer, Grete took as many bottles as she could hold and ran with them to her mother; she slammed the door with her foot. Gregor was now cut off from his mother, who through his guilt was perhaps near death; He couldn't open the door if he didn't want to chase away the sister who had to stay with his mother; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything, Now, without lingering any longer, Grete took as many bottles as she could hold and ran with them to her mother; she slammed the door with her foot. Gregor was now cut off from his mother, who through his guilt was perhaps near death; He couldn't open the door if he didn't want to chase away the sister who had to stay with his mother; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything, Now, without lingering any longer, Grete took as many bottles as she could hold and ran with them to her mother; she slammed the door with her foot. Gregor was now cut off from his mother, who through his guilt was perhaps near death; He couldn't open the door if he didn't want to chase away the sister who had to stay with his mother; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything, do not chase away; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything, do not chase away; he had nothing to do now but wait; and, beset by self-reproach and apprehension, he began to crawl, crawled over everything,Walls, furniture and ceiling and finally fell in his desperation when the whole room began to turn around him, in the middle of the big table.

A little while passed, Gregor lay there wearily, all around it was quiet, perhaps that was a good sign. Then it rang. The girl was of course locked in her kitchen and Grete had to go open. The father had come. "What happened?" Were his first words; Grete's appearance must have told him everything. Grete replied in a dull voice, evidently pressing her face against her father's chest: "Mother passed out, but she is feeling better. Gregor escaped. "" I expected it, "said the father," I always told you, but you women don't want to hear. "It was clear to Gregor that his father had misinterpreted Grete's overly short communication and accepted it that Gregor was guilty of some kind of violence. Therefore Gregor had to try to appease his father now, because he had neither time nor opportunity to enlighten him. And so he fled to the door of his room and pressed himself against it so that when he entered the hall, his father could see that Gregor had the best intention of returning to his room immediately and that it was not necessary to drive him back. but that one only had to open the door and he would be gone in a moment.

But the father was in no mood to notice such subtleties. "Ah!" He shouted as soon as he entered, in a tone as if he were both angry and happy at the same time. Gregor withdrew his head from the door and raised it towards his father. That was really not how he had imagined his father as he stood now;However, because of the new kind of crawling around, he had recently neglected to take care of the rest of the apartment as he had done before, and should really have been prepared to encounter changed circumstances. Still, anyway, was that still the father? The same man who lay buried in bed tired when Gregor had gone on a business trip earlier; who had received him in an armchair in his dressing gown on his homecoming evenings; was not quite able to get up, but had just raised his arms as a sign of joy, and who on the rare walks together on a few Sundays a year and on the highest holidays between Gregor and his mother, who was already slowly in and of itself went, still a little slower, wrapped in his old coat, always worked his way forward with his cane on carefully and, when he wanted to say something, almost always stood still and gathered his company around him? But now he was well straightened; dressed in a tight blue uniform with gold buttons, as worn by servants of the banking institutions; His strong double chin rose above the high, stiff collar of his skirt; under the bushy eyebrows the look of the black eyes emerged fresh and attentive; the otherwise disheveled white hair was combed down into a meticulously shining parting hairstyle. He threw his cap, on which a gold monogram, probably that of a bank, was affixed, across the room in a bow on the sofa and walked, the ends of his long uniform skirt thrown back, his hands in his trouser pockets, with grim face towards Gregor. He probably didn't know what he was up to; at least he raised itFeet unusually high, and Gregor was amazed at the huge size of the soles of his boots. But he did not stop there, he knew from the first day of his new life that his father only considered the greatest severity appropriate to him. And so he ran in front of his father, stopped when the father stopped, and hurried forward again when the father only moved. So they made several rounds of the room without anything decisive happening, in fact without the whole thing having the appearance of a pursuit because of its slow pace. That is why Gregor stayed on the floor for the time being, especially since he was afraid that his father might consider escaping to the walls or the ceiling to be particularly wicked. However, Gregor had to tell himself that he would not be able to endure even this running for long, for while the father took a step he had to make a myriad of movements. Shortness of breath was already beginning to make itself felt, just as he had not had a completely trustworthy lung in his earlier days. When he stumbled along to gather all his strength for the run, he barely kept his eyes open; in his dullness never thought of any other salvation than running; and had almost forgotten that the walls were open to him, although these were obstructed here with carefully carved furniture full of spikes and points - something flew down next to him, slightly thrown, and rolled in front of him. It was an apple; at once a second flew after him; Gregor stopped in horror; it was useless to keep running, for the father had decided to bomb him.now, without aiming sharply for the time being, apple by apple. Those little red apples rolled around on the floor as if electrified and bumped into one another. A weakly thrown apple brushed Gregor's back, but slipped off harmlessly. On the other hand, someone who flew immediately after him literally penetrated Gregor's back; Gregor wanted to drag himself on as if the surprising, unbelievable pain could pass with the change of location; yet he felt nailed to the ground and stretched himself in complete confusion of all senses. Only with one last glance did he see the door of his room being thrown open and his mother hurrying out in front of the screaming sister, in her shirt, because the sister had undressed her to give her the freedom to breathe in the swoon.

III.

Gregor's severe wounding, from which he suffered for over a month - the apple remained, since no one dared to remove it, sat as a visible memento in the flesh - seemed to have reminded even his father that Gregor, in spite of his present sad and disgusting figure was a member of the family who could not be treated like an enemy, but to whom it was the command of the family duty to swallow reluctance and to tolerate, nothing but to tolerate.

And even if Gregor had probably lost his mobility forever because of his wound and for the time being needed long, long minutes to cross his room like an old invalid - crawling up high was out of the question - he got his for this aggravation In his opinion, a completely sufficient substitute was found by opening the living room door towards evening, which he used to watch closely for an hour or two beforehand, so that, lying in the dark of his room, he was invisible from the living room, the whole Seeing the family at the lighted table and listening to their speeches, with general permission, so to speak, in a completely different way than before.

To be sure, it was no longer the lively conversations of earlier times that Gregor had always thought of with some eagerness in the small hotel rooms when he had to throw himself tiredly into the damp bedclothes. It was mostly very quiet now. Soon after supper the father fell asleep in his armchair; the mother and sister admonished each other to be quiet; Her mother, bent far over the light, sewed fine linen for a fashion store; the sister, who had accepted a job as a saleswoman, learned shorthand and French in the evening so that she might later get a better post. Sometimes the father would wake up and, as if he didn't know that he had slept, he would say to his mother: "How long have you been sewing today!" And immediately fell asleep again.

With a kind of obstinacy, the father refused to take off his servant's uniform at home; andwhile the dressing gown hung uselessly on the coat hook, the father slumbered fully clothed in his place, as if he were always ready for his service and here, too, waiting for the voice of the superior. As a result, the uniform, which was not new at the beginning, lost its cleanliness, despite all the care taken by mother and sister, and Gregor often spent whole evenings looking at this all-over-stained dress, with its always polished gold buttons, in which the old man was extremely uncomfortable and yet calm slept.

As soon as the clock struck ten, the mother tried to wake up the father by quietly speaking and then persuade him to go to bed, because it was not really sleep here and the father, who had to start his work at six o'clock, had this extremely necessary. But in the stubbornness that had seized him since he was a servant, he always insisted on staying longer at the table, even though he regularly fell asleep, and then he could hardly move the chair with the bed to swap. No matter how hard his mother and sister insisted on him with small admonitions, he slowly shook his head for a quarter of an hour, kept his eyes closed and did not get up. The mother tugged his sleeve and said flattering words in his ear, the sister left her job to help the mother, but that didn't work with my father. He just sank deeper into his chair. Only until the women grabbed him by the armpits did he open his eyes, take turns looking at his mother and sister, and used to say, "This is a life. It's a life." It's the quiet of my old days. ”And leaning on the two women, he rose, awkwardly, as if he were the greatest for himselfLast, let the women lead him to the door, waved them away and then went on independently, while the mother hurriedly threw down her sewing kit and the sister her pen to run behind the father and help him further.

Who in this exhausted and overtired family had time to look after Gregor more than was absolutely necessary? The budget became more and more restricted; the maid was released after all; a huge, bony maid with white hair that fluttered around her head came in the morning and in the evening to do the heaviest work; everything else was done by the mother in addition to her sewing work. It even happened that various family jewelry, which the mother and sister had worn overjoyed at conversations and celebrations, were sold, as Gregor learned that evening from the general discussion of the prices obtained. The biggest complaint, however, was always that one could not leave this apartment, which was too large for the current conditions, because it was inconceivable how to move Gregor. But Gregor saw that it wasn't just being considerate of him that prevented him from moving, for he could easily have been transported in a suitable box with a few air holes; What kept the family mainly from moving was rather the complete hopelessness and the thought that they had been hit with a misfortune like no one else in the whole circle of relatives and acquaintances. What the world demands of poor people, they fulfilled to the utmost, father fetched breakfast for the little bank clerks, mother sacrificed herself for them What kept the family mainly from moving was rather the complete hopelessness and the thought that they had been hit with a misfortune like no one else in the whole circle of relatives and acquaintances. What the world demands of poor people, they fulfilled to the utmost, father fetched breakfast for the little bank clerks, mother sacrificed herself for them What kept the family mainly from moving was rather the complete hopelessness and the thought that they had been hit with a misfortune like no one else in the whole circle of relatives and acquaintances. What the world demands of poor people, they fulfilled to the utmost, father fetched breakfast for the little bank clerks, mother sacrificed herself for themLaundering by strangers, the sister ran to and fro behind the desk at the orders of the customers, but the family's strength was not enough. And the wound in the back began to hurt Gregor like new when his mother and sister returned after they had put their father to bed, left their work, moved closer together, were already cheek to cheek; when his mother, pointing to Gregor's room, said: "Close the door there, Grete," and when Gregor was back in the dark while the women next door mixed their tears or even stared tearlessly at the table.

Gregor spent the nights and days almost entirely without sleep. Sometimes he thought of taking care of family affairs the next time the door was opened; After a long time, the boss and the general manager, the clerks and the apprentices, the servant, two three friends from other businesses, a chambermaid from a hotel in the provinces, a dear, fleeting memory, a cashier reappeared in his mind a hat shop for which he had seriously but slowly applied for - they all appeared mixed up with strangers or those who had already been forgotten, but instead of helping him and his family, they were all inaccessible, and he was glad when they disappeared. But then he wasn't in the mood to worry about his family again, he was just angry about the poor maintenance, and although he couldn't imagine anything he would have had an appetite for, he made plans how he could get into the pantry to take whatever he was even when he wasn't hungry , at least due. Without thinking anymorewith which one could do Gregor a special favor, the nurse hurriedly pushed any food into Gregor's room with her foot before she went to the shop in the morning and at noon, and in the evening to eat it, regardless of whether the food was perhaps only tasted or - the most common case - wholly untouched, was swept out with a wave of the broom. The tidying up of the room, which she now always looked after in the evenings, couldn't have been done any faster. Streaks of dirt ran along the walls, here and there were clusters of dust and rubbish. In the early days, when his sister arrived, Gregor placed himself in such particularly significant corners in order to reproach her, as it were, for this position. But he could have stayed there for weeks without his sister improving; she saw the dirt exactly as he did, but she had just made up her mind to leave it. At the same time she watched with a sensitivity that was entirely new to her and that had seized the whole family, that the tidying up of Gregor's room was reserved for her. Once Gregor's mother had cleaned Gregor's room thoroughly, which she only managed to do after using a few buckets of water - Gregor was also offended by the high amount of moisture, and he was lying broad, bitter and immobile on the sofa - but the mother's punishment did not remain out. Because scarcely had the sister noticed the change in Gregor's room that evening when she, extremely offended, ran into the living room and, despite her mother's raised hands, broke into a crying fit.watched; until they too began to stir; The father on the right reproached the mother for not leaving Gregor's room to the sister to clean; On the other hand, on the left, the sister yelled at that she would never be allowed to clean Gregor's room again; while the mother tried to drag his father, who no longer knew each other for excitement, into the bedroom; the sister, shaken with sobs, worked the table with her little fists; and Gregor hissed loudly with anger that it did not occur to anyone to close the door and spare him this sight and noise.

But even if the sister, exhausted from her professional work, had grown tired of looking after Gregor, as before, her mother would by no means have to stand up for her and Gregor would not have had to be neglected. Because now the operator was there. This old widow, who, with the help of her strong bones, might have survived the worst in her long life, had no real disgust for Gregor. Without being in any way curious, she had accidentally opened the door of Gregor's room and saw Gregor, who, completely surprised, although no one was chasing him, began to run back and forth, his hands folded in his lap, standing there in amazement. Since then she has not failed to open the door a little every morning and evening and look in at Gregor.has been opened. If only, instead of letting this operator disturb him uselessly according to her mood, it would have been better to give the order to clean his room every day! Once in the early morning - a heavy rain, perhaps already a sign of the coming spring, banged on the windows - Gregor was so bitter when the operator began her speeches again that he, as if to attack, slowly and frailly, himself turned against them. Instead of being frightened, however, the waitress merely picked up a chair near the door, and as she stood there with her mouth wide open, it was clear that she intended to close her mouth only when the chair in her hand was on Gregor's Would knock your back. "So you can't go any further?" She asked when Gregor turned around again,

Gregor now ate almost nothing. Only when he happened to pass the prepared food would he take a bite to play in his mouth, hold it there for hours and then usually spat it out again. At first he thought it was the sadness about the condition of his room that kept him from eating, but it was precisely with the changes in the room that he was soon reconciled. It had become a habit to put things in this room that couldn't be put anywhere else, and there were many such things now that one room in the apartment had been rented to three lodgers. These serious gentlemen - all three had full beards, as Gregor once discovered through a crack in the door - were embarrassed about order, not only in their room, but, since they had just rented themselves here, in the entire inn, so especially in the kitchen, carefully. Uselessor even dirty stuff they couldn't stand. In addition, they had mostly brought their own furnishings. For this reason, many things had become superfluous, which were not for sale, but which one also did not want to throw away. All of these went to Gregor's room. Likewise, the ash box and the garbage box from the kitchen. What was only temporarily unusable was simply tossed into Gregor's room by the waitress, who was always in a great hurry; Fortunately, Gregor usually only saw the object in question and the hand that held it. The operator might have intended to retrieve the things if there was enough time and opportunity or to throw them all out at once, but in fact they stayed where they had come from the first throw,

Since the householders sometimes had their dinner at home in the common living room, the living room door remained closed on some evenings, but Gregor easily refrained from opening the door, since he had not used some of the evenings when it was open, but rather was, without the family noticing, lying in the darkest corner of his room. But once the operator had left the door to the living room a little open, and it stayed that way, even when the householders came in that evening and the light was turned on. They sat up at the table where inearlier times the father, the mother and Gregor sat, unfolded the napkins and took a knife and fork in hand. Immediately in the doorway appeared the mother with a bowl of meat and just behind her the sister with a bowl of potatoes piled high. The food steamed with heavy smoke. The householders bent over the bowls placed in front of them as if they wanted to check them before dinner, and in fact the one who sat in the middle and seemed to be the authority of the other two apparently cut up a piece of meat still on the bowl determine whether it is crumbly enough and whether it shouldn't be sent back to the kitchen, for example. He was satisfied, and mother and sister, who had been watching intently, began to smile with a sigh of relief.

The family themselves ate in the kitchen. Nevertheless, before going into the kitchen, father came into this room and with a single bow, cap in hand, walked around the table. The lodgers all stood up and mumbled something into their beards. When they were alone, they ate in almost complete silence. It seemed strange to Gregor that one could hear her chewing teeth again and again from all the manifold noises of the meal, as if this were to show Gregor that teeth are needed in order to eat and that even the most beautiful toothless jaws cannot do anything. “I have an appetite,” said Gregor worriedly, “but not for these things. How these householders feed and I'll perish! "

That evening - Gregor did not remember hearing the violin the whole time - it rang from the kitchen. The lodgershad already finished their supper, the one in the middle had pulled out a newspaper, given the other two a sheet each, and now they leaned back and read and smoked. When the violin began to play, they became attentive, got up, and tiptoed to the hall door, where they stood huddled together. You must have heard her from the kitchen, for the father called out: "Is this game uncomfortable for the gentlemen? It can be stopped immediately. "" On the contrary, "said the middle gentleman," the young lady doesn't want to come in and play here in the room, where it's much more comfortable and cozy? "" Oh, please, "cried the father as if he were the violin player. The gentlemen stepped back into the room and waited. Soon the father came with the music stand, the mother with the sheet music and the sister with the violin. The sister calmly prepared everything for the game; the parents, who had never rented rooms before and therefore exaggerated the courtesy to the lodgers, did not dare to sit in their own armchairs; the father leaned against the door, his right hand tucked between two buttons of the closed livre skirt; The mother, however, was offered an armchair by a gentleman and, since she left the armchair where the gentleman happened to have placed it, sat apart in a corner.

The sister began to play; Father and mother, each from his side, carefully watched the movements of their hands. Attracted by the game, Gregor had ventured a little further and was already with his head in the living room. He was hardly surprised that he had recently shown so little consideration for others; was formerlythis consideration was his pride. And just now he would have had more reason to hide, because because of the dust that lay everywhere in his room and flew around with the slightest movement, he too was completely covered with dust; He dragged threads, hair, and leftover food with him on his back and sides; his indifference to everything was far too great for him to lie on his back and rub the carpet, as he had done several times during the day. And in spite of this condition, he was not afraid to move forward a little on the immaculate living room floor.

However, nobody paid any attention to him either. The family was completely absorbed in playing the violin; the lodgers, on the other hand, who at first, with their hands in their trouser pockets, had positioned themselves much too close behind the nurse's music desk so that she could all have looked at the notes, which must undoubtedly bother the nurse, soon dragged themselves along with half-loud conversations heads bowed back to the window, where they stayed, watched anxiously by their father. It really seemed as if they were disappointed in their assumption that they were hearing a beautiful or entertaining violin playing, had had enough of the whole performance and were only allowing their calm to be disturbed out of politeness. The way in which they all blew the smoke of their cigars up out of their noses and mouths indicated great nervousness. And yet the sister played so beautifully. Her face was tilted to one side, her eyes scrutinizing and sadly following the staves. Gregor crawled forward a little more and held his head close to the floor to avoid possibly her gazeto be able to meet. Was he an animal because he was so gripped by music? It was as if the way to the unknown food he had longed for was showing itself to him. He was determined to get as far as his sister, to pluck her skirt and thereby indicate to her that she should come into his room with her violin, because no one here rewarded the game as much as he wanted it to. He didn't want to let her out of his room, at least not while he was alive; his frightful figure was to be useful to him for the first time; he wanted to be at all the doors of his room at the same time and hiss at the attackers; The sister, however, was not to remain with him by force, but voluntarily; she was supposed to sit next to him on the sofa with her ear bowed to him, and he would then confide in her that he had had the firm intention of to send her to the Conservatory and that, if misfortune hadn't intervened, he would say last Christmas - Christmas was already over, wasn't it? - would have told everyone without worrying about any contradiction. After this explanation the sister would burst into tears, and Gregor would get up to her armpit and kiss her neck, which she wore freely without a ribbon or collar since she went into the shop.

"Mr. Samsa!" Called the middle man to his father and, without saying another word, pointed with his index finger at Gregor, who was moving slowly forward. The violin fell silent, the middle carpenter smiled at his friends, shaking his head, and then looked back at Gregor. The father seemed to think it was more necessary, instead of driving Gregor away, to calm down the lodgers for the time being, even though they weren't at all excited andGregor seemed to entertain them more than the violin playing seemed to entertain. He hurried to them and tried to push them into their room with outstretched arms and, at the same time, with his body to take away the view of Gregor from them. Now they actually got a little angry, one no longer knew whether it was about their father's behavior or the realization that they were now dawning, without knowing it, that they had had a roommate like Gregor. They demanded explanations from their father, raised their arms in turn, tugged restlessly at their beards, and only slowly backed away towards their room. In the meantime the sister had overcome the forlornness into which she had fallen after the suddenly broken off game, after holding the violin and bow in her casually hanging hands for a while and continued as if she were still playing, Had seen the music, suddenly pulled up, had laid the instrument on the mother's lap, who was still sitting in her armchair with breathing difficulties with heavily working lungs, and ran into the next room, which the householders, under the urging of their father, found themselves in the next room approached faster. One saw how, under the nurse's trained hands, the blankets and pillows in the beds flew up and straightened out. Before the gentlemen had even reached the room, she had finished making the beds and slipped out. The father seemed so stubborn again that he forgot any respect he owed his tenants. He just pushed and pushed until the gentleman in the middle stomped his foot with a thundering thunder and thereby brought his father to a standstill. »I hereby declarethe sister, "that in consideration of the disgusting conditions prevailing in this apartment and family" - here he spat on the floor, "I will quit my room immediately. Of course, I will not pay the slightest thing for the days that I lived here, but I will think about whether I will make any - believe me - claims against you that are very easy to justify. 'He paused and looked straight ahead as if he were expecting something. In fact, his two friends immediately came to mind with the words: "We will also give notice at once." Then he took the door handle and closed the door with a crash.

The father staggered to his chair with fumbling hands and fell into it; it looked as if he was stretching himself out to his usual evening nap, but the strong nod of his head as if it were unsteady showed that he was not asleep at all. The whole time Gregor had been lying quietly in the place where the lodgers had caught him. The disappointment about the failure of his plan, but perhaps also the weakness caused by the starvation, made it impossible for him to move. With a certain certainty he feared a general collapse for the next moment and waited. Not even the violin startled him, which fell from under her mother's trembling fingers and fell from her lap and made an echoing sound.

“Dear parents,” said the sister, slapping her hand on the table as an introduction, “it cannot go on like this. Maybe if you don't see that, I can see it. I don't want him in front of this monsterSay my brother's name and just say: we have to try to get rid of it. We have tried everything humanly possible to cultivate and tolerate it, I believe no one can blame us in the slightest. "

"She is a thousand times right," said the father to himself. The mother, still unable to find enough breath, began to cough dully into the hand she held with a mad expression in her eyes.

The sister hurried to her mother and held her forehead. The sister's words seemed to have brought his father to more definite thoughts, had sat upright, played with his servant's cap between the plates that were still on the table from the host's supper, and occasionally looked at the quiet Gregor.

"We must try to get rid of it," said the sister only to the father, because the mother heard nothing in her cough, "it will kill both of you, I can see it coming. If you have to work as hard as we all do, you cannot endure this eternal torment at home. I can't either. ”And she burst into tears so violently that her tears streamed down on her mother's face, from which she wiped them with mechanical hand movements.

"Child," said the father, sympathetically and with remarkable understanding, "but what should we do?"

The nurse only shrugged her shoulders as a sign of the perplexity that had now gripped her while she was crying, in contrast to her earlier security.

"If he only understood us," said the father, half questioning; the sister shook from crying out violently the hand as a sign that it is not to be thought of.

"If he understood us," repeated the father, and by closing his eyes absorbed the sister's conviction of the impossibility of this, "then perhaps an agreement with him would be possible. But as -"

"It must go away," cried the sister, "that is the only way, father. All you have to do is try to get rid of the thought that it is Gregor. That we believed it for so long is our real misfortune. But how can it be Gregor? If it were Gregor, he would have long since realized that people cannot live with such an animal and would have left voluntarily. We would then not have a brother, but we could go on living and cherish his memory. But as it is, this animal is chasing us, driving away the lodgers, apparently wanting to take the whole apartment and let us spend the night in the alley. Look, father, "she suddenly cried out," he's starting again! "

But it never occurred to Gregor to want to scare anyone, let alone his sister. He had just started to turn around in order to wander back to his room, and that certainly looked conspicuous, since he was with him on the difficult turns as a result of his sufferinghad to help his head, which he lifted many times and hit the ground. He paused and looked around. His good intentions seemed to have been recognized; it had only been an instant shock. Now everyone looked at him in silence and sadness. The mother lay in her chair, legs stretched out and pressed together, her eyes almost closed from exhaustion; the father and sister sat next to each other, the sister had put her hand around the father's neck.

"Now maybe I can turn around," thought Gregor and started his work again. He couldn't stop the exertion and had to rest here and there. Besides, nobody pushed him, everything was left to him. As soon as he completed the turn, he immediately began walking straight back. He was amazed at the great distance that separated him from his room, and did not understand how, with his weakness, he had recently traveled the same way, almost without noticing it. Always anxious to crawl quickly, he paid little attention to the fact that not a word or exclamation from his family disturbed him. Only when he was already in the door did he turn his head, not completely, because he felt his neck become stiff, at least he could see that nothing had changed behind him, only the sister got up. His last look glanced at the mother, who was now completely asleep.

As soon as he was inside his room, the door was hurriedly shut, bolted and locked. Gregor was so frightened at the sudden noise behind him that his legs buckled. It was the sister who had hurried so quickly. She had already stood there upright and had waited, then light-footed she jumped forward, Gregor hadn't heard her coming, and "Finally!" she shouted to her parents while she turned the key in the lock.

"And now?" Asked Gregor, looking around in the dark. He soon made the discovery that he could no longer move at all. He was not surprised about that, rather it struck him as unnatural that he had actually been able to move around with these thin legs up to now. Otherwise he felt relatively comfortable. He had pains all over his body, but he felt as if they were gradually getting weaker and weaker and finally going away completely. He hardly felt the rotten apple in his back and the inflamed area, which was completely covered in soft dust. He thought back to his family with emotion and love. His opinion that he had to go was possibly even more resolute than that of his sister. In this state of empty and peaceful reflection he remained until the tower clock struck the third hour in the morning. He could still see the beginning of the general brightening outside the window. Then his head sank completely without his will, and his last breath streamed weakly from his nostrils.

When the operator came early in the morning - out of sheer strength and haste, she slammed, however often she had already been asked to avoid this, all the doors so that a good night's sleep in the whole apartment was no longer possible from the moment she arrived - At first she found nothing special during her usual short visit to Gregor's. She thought he was deliberately lying there motionless, playing the offended;she trusted him with all possible brains. Because she happened to be holding the long broom in her hand, she tried to tickle Gregor with it from the door. When there was no success either, she became angry and pushed a little into Gregor, and only when she had pushed him from his place without any resistance did she notice. When she soon realized the truth of the matter, she widened her eyes, whistled to herself, but did not stay open for long, instead tore open the door of the bedroom and called out into the darkness in a loud voice: “Just look at it has died; there it lies, completely and utterly killed! "

The Samsa couple sat upright in their double bed and had to deal with getting over the horror of the waitress before they could take her message. But then Mr. and Mrs. Samsa, each on his side, got out of bed in a hurry, Mr. Samsa threw the blanket over his shoulders, Mrs. Samsa only came out in her nightgown; so they went into Gregor's room. In the meantime the door of the living room had also opened, in which Grete had slept since the householders moved in; she was fully dressed, as if she hadn't slept at all, and her pale face seemed to prove that too. "Dead?" Said Ms. Samsa and looked up at the operator, although she was able to check everything herself and even recognize it without checking. "That's what I think," said the waitress, pushing Gregor's corpse with the broom a long way to the side to prove it. Mrs. Samsa made a movement as if to hold back the broom, but didn't. "Well," said Mr Samsa, "now we can thank God." He crossed himself, and the three women followed his example. Grete thatNot taking an eye from the corpse said, “Look how thin he was. He hasn't eaten anything for a long time. As soon as the food came in, it came out again. ”In fact, Gregor's body was completely flat and dry, you only really recognized that now that he was no longer lifted from his legs and nothing else distracted your gaze.

"Come in, Grete, come in to us for a while," said Frau Samsa with a wistful smile, and Grete, not without looking back at the corpse, went behind her parents into the bedroom. The operator closed the door and opened the window all the way. Despite the early morning, the fresh air was already mixed with a bit of warmth. It was just the end of March.

The three lodgers stepped out of their room and looked around in astonishment after their breakfast; they had been forgotten. "Where's the breakfast?" The man in the middle asked the waitress sullenly. But she put her finger to her mouth and then hastily and silently waved to the gentlemen that they would like to come into Gregor's room. They came too and then stood, hands in the pockets of their somewhat worn skirts, in the now very bright room around Gregor's corpse.

Then the door of the bedroom opened and Mr Samsa appeared in his livery, his wife on one arm and his daughter on the other. Everyone was a little tearful; Sometimes Grete pressed her face to her father's arm.

"Leave my apartment immediately!" Said Mr Samsa, pointing to the door without letting the women go. "What do you mean?" Said the man in the middle, somewhat dismayed, and smiled sweetly.The other two kept their hands behind their backs and kept rubbing them together, as if in anticipation of a great quarrel, which was bound to turn out favorably for them. "I mean it exactly as I say it," replied Mr Samsa, walking in a line with his two companions towards the master of the house. At first he stood still and looked at the floor as if things were coming together in a new order in his head. "So let's go then," he said, and looked up at Herr Samsa, as if in a humility that suddenly overwhelmed him he was demanding a new permit even for this decision. Mr Samsa just nodded briefly to him several times with wide eyes. Thereupon the gentleman actually took long strides into the anteroom; his two friends had been listening with very steady hands for a while and were now jumping after him, as if in fear that Mr. Samsa might enter the anteroom before them and disrupt the connection with their guide. In the anteroom all three took their hats from the clothes rack, drew their sticks from the stick container, bowed silently and left the apartment. In what turned out to be a completely unfounded suspicion, Mr. Samsa stepped out onto the forecourt with the two women; Leaning against the railing, they watched as the three gentlemen slowly but steadily descended the long staircase, disappeared in a certain bend in the stairwell on each floor and came out again after a few moments; the deeper they got, the more the Samsa family lost interest in them,Mr. Samsa soon left the railing with the women, and everyone returned to their apartment, as if relieved.

They decided to use the day to rest and go for a walk; Not only did they deserve this break, they really needed it. And so they sat down at the table and wrote three letters of apology, Mr. Samsa to his management, Mrs. Samsa to her client, and Grete to her principal. While she was writing, the waitress came in to say she was leaving because her morning work was finished. The three writers at first just nodded without looking up, only when the waitress still refused to leave did they look up angrily. "Well?" Asked Mr Samsa. The operator stood smiling in the doorway, as if she were very lucky to report to the family, but would only do so if she was questioned carefully. The almost upright little ostrich feather on her hat, Mr. Samsa was annoyed about the whole time she was on duty, swaying slightly in all directions. "So what do you actually want?" Asked Mrs. Samsa, whom the operator still had the most respect for. “Yes,” replied the operator, unable to go on with a friendly laugh, “so you don't have to worry about how the stuff from next door should be removed. It's all right. ”Frau Samsa and Grete bent down to their letters as if they wanted to continue writing; Mr Samsa, who noticed that the operator wanted to start describing everything in detail, resolutely fended off this with an outstretched hand. But since she was not allowed to tell, she remembered the great hurry she had called swayed slightly in all directions. "So what do you actually want?" Asked Mrs. Samsa, whom the operator still had the most respect for. “Yes,” replied the operator, unable to go on with a friendly laugh, “so you don't have to worry about how the stuff from next door should be removed. It's all right. ”Frau Samsa and Grete bent down to their letters as if they wanted to continue writing; Mr Samsa, who noticed that the operator wanted to start describing everything in detail, resolutely fended off this with an outstretched hand. But since she was not allowed to tell, she remembered the great hurry she had called swayed slightly in all directions. "So what do you actually want?" Asked Mrs. Samsa, whom the operator still had the most respect for. “Yes,” replied the operator, unable to go on with a friendly laugh, “so you don't have to worry about how the stuff from next door should be removed. It's all right. ”Frau Samsa and Grete bent down to their letters as if they wanted to continue writing; Mr Samsa, who noticed that the operator wanted to start describing everything in detail, resolutely fended off this with an outstretched hand. But since she was not allowed to tell, she remembered the great hurry she had called "Answered the operator, unable to go on with a friendly laugh," so you don't have to worry about how the stuff from next door should be removed. It's all right. ”Frau Samsa and Grete bent down to their letters as if they wanted to continue writing; Mr Samsa, who noticed that the operator wanted to start describing everything in detail, resolutely fended off this with an outstretched hand. But since she was not allowed to tell, she remembered the great hurry she had called "Answered the operator, unable to go on with a friendly laugh," so you don't have to worry about how the stuff from next door should be removed. It's all right. ”Frau Samsa and Grete bent down to their letters as if they wanted to continue writing; Mr Samsa, who noticed that the operator wanted to start describing everything in detail, resolutely fended off this with an outstretched hand. But since she was not allowed to tell, she remembered the great hurry she had called Mr Samsa, who noticed that the operator wanted to start describing everything in detail, resolutely fended off this with an outstretched hand. But since she was not allowed to tell, she remembered the great hurry she had called Mr Samsa, who noticed that the operator wanted to start describing everything in detail, resolutely fended off this with an outstretched hand. But since she was not allowed to tell, she remembered the great hurry she had called obviously offended: "Adjes all sides," turned around wildly and left the apartment, slamming the door terribly.

"She'll be discharged in the evening," said Mr Samsa, but got no answer from either his wife or daughter, because the waitress seemed to have disturbed her barely regained calm. They rose, went to the window, and stayed there, hugging each other. Mr Samsa turned around in his armchair and watched them silently for a while. Then he called: "So come here. Leave the old things behind. And show a little consideration for me. ”The women followed him immediately, hurried over to him, caressed him and quickly finished their letters.

Then all three of them left the apartment together, which they hadn't done for months, and took the electric one outside of town. The car in which they were sitting alone was shone through with warm sun. Leaning back comfortably in their seats, they discussed the prospects for the future, and it was found that on closer inspection these were by no means bad, for all three positions were, which they had not actually asked each other about, extremely favorable and special promising for later. The greatest immediate improvement in the situation could of course easily result from a change of residence; They now wanted to move into a smaller and cheaper, but better located and generally more practical apartment than the current one that Gregor had chosen.Time had blossomed into a beautiful and voluptuous girl in spite of all the care that had made her cheeks pale. Becoming quieter and almost unconsciously communicating through looks, they thought that it would now be time to look for a good man for them too. And it was like confirmation of their new dreams and good intentions when, at the destination of their journey, their daughter was the first to get up and stretch her young body.