I finally realised that beating one's daughter to death is probably considered bad form and so we had a conversation. Or rather I did the talking while she listened, scowling murderously in that manner of which only a young woman is capable.
"You're not having a donkey, and that's the end of the conversation!"
Curiously she didn't launch into her usual shtick, which is to say screaming that I hate her before running off to her bedroom and slamming every door on the way hard enough to splinter the house's foundations. In fact she smiled. It wasn't a smile I've ever seen in a human before; in fact more like the one that giant shark displayed before biting Robert Shaw in half in Jaws. I don't know what frightened me more, the silence or that ghastly smile.
"Alright," she said with the guileless expression one might see in a toddler, "if I can't have a donkey then can I have something for Christmas?"
I nodded eagerly for unlike me she hasn't expressed any desire for a Harley, or a 911 turbo or a personal Lear Jet.
Later on she emailed me a photo of the bottle of perfume she's convinced will have every man in the known universe swooning at her feet. Obediently I went down to the local perfumery to enquire how much it would cost, hovering as close to the door as possible without the security guard arresting me whilst waiting for the news.
I'm going to start googling the local donkey sanctuaries this very moment.