A play by Peter Shaffer who also wrote Amadeus.

A 17 year-old boy, Alan, is brought to a psychiatric hospital because he has blinded several horses with a hoof pick. A psychiatrist, Dysart, works to "normalize" the boy, all the while feeling that though he makes the boy 'safe' for society, he is taking away from him his worship and sexual vitality--both of which are missing in the doctor's own personal life. He actually envies Alan the sexual worship he has experienced.

In spite of his own hang-ups, though, the doctor does help the boy work through his obsession, which identifies the horse Equus with God. But the doctor comments that "when Equus leaves--if he leaves at all--it will be with your intestines in his teeth. . . . I'll give him (Alan) the good Normal world . . . and give him Normal places for his ecstasy. . . Passion, you see, can be destroyed by a doctor. It cannot be created."

Family Equidae has but one surviving genus, and that is genus Equus.

There are eight currently existing species of Equus, all of which can interbreed and produce non-viable offspring, but do not normally do so in the wild.

Equus przewalski: Przewalski's horse and Riwoche horse.

Equus caballus: domestic horse and pony.

Equus asinus: North African wild ass and the domestic ass (AKA ass, burro, or donkey)

Equus hemionus: AKA "half ass" (sorry, but there it is). Asiatic wild ass, onager, and kiang.

Equus grevyi: Grevy's zebra or Imperial zebra. (15 thin stripes on flank).

Equus burchelli: Plains zebra or Common zebra. (5-6 thick stripes on flank).

Equus zebra: Mountain zebra. (12 thin stripes on flank).

Equus quagga: Quagga (Now extinct, as of 1883.)

It is interestering to note that while these animals can interbreed to produce living offspring, they all have different numbers of chromosome pairs (33, 32, 31, 27, 23, 22, 16, and ??, respectively).

E"quus (?), n. [L., horse.] Zool.

A genus of mammals, including the horse, ass, etc.


© Webster 1913.

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