Ocyrrhoe, the Centaur's Daughter

We have heard how the centaur Chiron came into being, being the product of the union of Cronus and Philyra in the guise of horses. Chiron, grown to adulthood, grew enamoured of the Oread nymph Chariclo on the slopes of Mount Pelion. She returned his affection and they married.

Taking human guise, Chiron fathered three daughters, Hippe, Endeis, and auburn-haired Ocyrrhoe. Ocyrrhoe was gifted in prophecy and studied with the Oracle of Apollo. When she was sixteen, Chiron, who tutored many of ancient Greece's most prominent heros, was entrusted with the care of an infant who was destined to become the god Escapulus. Entering into a prophetic trance, Ocyrrhoe revealed his divine future, but Zeus, angered at this knowledge being prematurely revealed, punished her by transforming her into a mare. The Roman poet Ovid, in the second book of his epic Metamorphoses, describes the event in detail:

"What new thoughts are these? I long to pace o'er flowery meadows, and to feed on grass.
I hasten to a brute, a maid no more; but why, alas! Am I transformed all o'er?
My sire doth half a human shape retain and in his uppr part preserves the Man."
Her tongue no more distinct complaints affords but in shrill accents and misshapen words
Pours forth such hideous wailings as declare the human form confounded in the mare:
Till by degrees accomplished in the beast she neighed outright and all the steed expressed.
Her stooping body on her hands is bourne: her hands are turned to hoofs, and shod in horn.
Her auburn tresses ruffle in a mane, and in a flowing tail she frisks her train.
The mare was finished in her voice and look and a new name from her new figure took.

You may read my personal version of events in the story section: The Centaur's Daughter.