A Princess of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 14

rock which glistened in the
sunlight; and a little to my left, perhaps a hundred yards, appeared a
low, walled enclosure about four feet in height. No water, and no
other vegetation than the moss was in evidence, and as I was somewhat
thirsty I determined to do a little exploring.

Springing to my feet I received my first Martian surprise, for the
effort, which on Earth would have brought me standing upright, carried
me into the Martian air to the height of about three yards. I alighted
softly upon the ground, however, without appreciable shock or jar. Now
commenced a series of evolutions which even then seemed ludicrous in
the extreme. I found that I must learn to walk all over again, as the
muscular exertion which carried me easily and safely upon Earth played
strange antics with me upon Mars.

Instead of progressing in a sane and dignified manner, my attempts to
walk resulted in a variety of hops which took me clear of the ground a
couple of feet at each step and landed me sprawling upon my face or
back at the end of each second or third hop. My muscles, perfectly
attuned and accustomed to the force of gravity on Earth, played the
mischief with me in attempting for the first time to cope with the
lesser gravitation and lower air pressure on Mars.

I was determined, however, to explore the low structure which was the
only evidence of habitation in sight, and so I hit upon the unique plan
of reverting to first principles in locomotion, creeping. I did fairly
well at this and in a few moments had reached the low, encircling wall
of the enclosure.

There appeared to be no doors or windows upon the side nearest me, but
as the wall was but about four feet high I cautiously gained my feet
and peered over the top upon the strangest sight it had ever been given
me to see.

The roof of the enclosure was of solid glass about four or five inches
in thickness, and beneath this were several hundred large eggs,
perfectly round and snowy white. The eggs were nearly uniform in size
being about two and one-half feet in diameter.

Five or six had already hatched and the grotesque caricatures which sat
blinking in the sunlight were enough to cause me to doubt my sanity.
They seemed mostly head, with little scrawny bodies, long necks and six
legs, or, as I afterward learned, two legs and two arms, with an
intermediary pair of limbs which could be used

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