“The donkey had a bad press in ancient Egypt,” she informed him. “Much maligned, generally inoffensive, occasionally perverse and abominated since ancient times - so hated that the temple scribes could not write its name without showing a knife stuck in its shoulder - yet the little African donkey is indefatigable. It goes like the devil. Which was exactly what the ancients thought it was. A devil. The donkey was an essentially evil entity in the creeds of the Egyptians, personified by the god Seth. The donkey was the magical scapegoat par excellence."