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assdonkeyAss Animal of the same genus as the horse and the the zebra, widely known in its domesticated state as the donkey. True wild asses are still found in Africa and in Asia but some are thought to be nearly extinct. Wild asses are gregarious, swift, and long lived; they are found in mountainous and desert regions and feed on rough and dry forage .

Characteristics of the ass include its large head , long ears , small hoofs , and loud bray . It is dun-colored with a black stripe down the back and across the shoulders and has and erect mane of short, stiff hairs. Its height averages four and a half feet at the shoulder. The domesticated ass is believed to have been used in Mesopotamia and Egypt by 4000 B.C.; it is frequently mentioned in the bible. Today the ass is used chiefly in warmer climates as a hearty and sure- footed pack animal .

Several breeds have figured in the production of the mule. A male ass is called a jack or jackass; a female , a jennet or Jenny . The proverbial stupidity, obstinacy, and patience of the ass have been much expressed in tolerantly humorous stories .

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