[LMB] Smart demon rider, THRUSH, horses as named characters

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Sat Apr 15 17:35:31 BST 2017

Jonathan Spencer corrects me:


>... The Men from Uncle ... fought the Technological 
>Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables 
>and the Subjugation of Humanity.  
>Maxwell Smart's and Agent 99's  foes were of course 
>KAOS (which was not an acronym). 

KAOS?  As Lord Illvin remarked when Ista told him
Arhys's battle stallion was possessed of an elemental:

"It explains _a lot_ about that horse." 

Or in this case, it explains a lot about Maxwell Smart:  
A spy who never had a mission go right, but whose 
missions never went SO terribly wrong he was killed, 
or benched. Obviously Smart was also hosting a demon 
of KAOS. Which, also obviously, wanted it back...

Have I ever mentioned how much I adore "Featherwit"? 
Which is NOT Arhys's horse.  But the stallion
I mean, shows up very near the word THRUSH in canon.
Unlike Desdemona, neither Arhys's horse nor the demon
were named. 

The Bujold canon is possessed of a fairly short
catalog of named character horses -- Fat Ninny, Grace, 
Copperhead, Featherwit -- but it remains much
more extensive than other, comparable, bodies of
literature. There's "Silver Blaze" in Doyle, and in
Austen there's the horse Willougby gives Marianne,
(though upon my beard, if I had one, I swear I
can't remember its name -- if it had one).   I
believe Georgette Heyer is considered an accurate
portrayer of horse use and behavior, but I (still)
haven't read any Heyer.  (I will accept recommendations)
There are talking mules -- Francis and Beulah, was it? --
from Heinlein. There may be one or two named horses 
in Shakespeare and Tolkein has a dozen or so.  Still,
I think Her Ladyship is unusual by this -- I admit,
peculiar -- measure, as she is in many others. 

Another assignment for those pursuing PhD's in 
modern English literature with a thesis on Bujold:
count the number of named horses, and their
scenes,  and compare that  to the count of human 
characters assigned one or more lines of dialog, but
NO name. (most of which get only one scene) 

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