Philip Mannering’s animals – an essential A-Z guide

Philip has a magic way with animals and can tame just about anything to want to live in his pockets. He never keeps anything as banal as a cat or dog, but it would not be unusual to see a mouse run out his collar or a caterpillar from his sleeve.

Here’s a guide to the various animals he meets and pets he collects in the 8 books of the Adventure Series.


Alsatians – Philip befriends an entire pack of Alsatians – which they previously had thought were wolves – in The Mountain of Adventure. This is unfortunate for Meir and Erlick who are using the dogs to round up run away paratroopers, as instead of finding the children the dogs turn on their masters at Philip’s instruction.

Philip faces the friendlier-than-they-look Alsatians


Badgers – Philip and Jack go badger-watching in The Circus of Adventure and see a family with playful cubs.

Bat – before The Island of Adventure Philip has kept a pet bat, Dinah warns him not to bring another one home in her letter to him.

Bargua – the only made-up animal in the books, a bargua is an extremely dangerous snake. It is green with red and yellow spots, and has a deadly venomous bite. Philip is gifted the snake by Oola, whom he rescued from his violent snake-charming uncle. It’s not a recipe for danger though as this bargua (which he never gave a name which is unusual for a ‘main’ pet) has had its ducts cut. This makes it safe, though shortens it’s life too. Nobody would know it isn’t dangerous any more which is a key point when it bites Raya Uma, the bad guy of The River of Adventure.

Philip uses the deadly-looking Bargua to scare off Raya Uma

Bears – Philip certainly never tries to keep anything as large as bears in his pocket, but he does befriend three circus bears in The Circus of Adventure. Their owner and trainer Fank is ill, and the bears are restless and escape their cage. Philip is able to lure them back with some syrup and his special animal voice.

Philip calms down the bears with syrup

Beetles – Philip is said to have put black beetles in Dinah’s shoes at some point before The Castle of Adventure. Then during that book he has four beetles he is training to obey certain commands.

Buttons the fox cub – Philip doesn’t find Buttons himself, rather the fox is a gift from wild-girl Tassie, when the children are on holiday  in Scotland with Mrs Mannering. He takes an instant liking to Philip, though, and is happy to follow him like a dog. He is a playful (and smelly, according to Dinah) young cub who gets picked on by Kiki, because she  is jealous of the attention that the children give him. He comes in useful though, as he finds a secret way in and out of the castle.


Caterpillars –  Although Philip does collect a huge number of bugs throughout the books, one of the first one mentioned is a very large and peculiarly coloured caterpillar. It crawls out from his sleeve when he’s being tutored by Mr Roy at the start of The Island of Adventure.

Crabs – briefly in The Island of Adventure he manages to keep a couple of friendly crabs in his bathing suit – before he sits on one and gets nipped and decides they’re better off in the water.


Donkeys – a group of donkeys are the children’s ride up into the mountains in The Mountain of Adventure. Unfortunately not even Philip’s influence is able to keep all but one of the donkeys from bolting when David, their guide, sees a face in a tree and runs off.

Donkey ride


Eagles – Although Jack is the one to camp out trying to get a photograph, Philip is still very interested in the two eagles which have built a nest in an old Scottish castle in The Castle of Adventure.

Earwigs – in The Island of Adventure Dinah warns Philip that she will throw a chair at his head if he tries to train earwigs again. Later she reveals he put them under her pillow and they crawled out in the middle of the night so you can understand her threat!


Hedgehogs – at the start of The Island of Adventure Philip has a baby hedgehog in his pocket, one whose prickles have not yet hardened. He has another baby one – which he is adamant doesn’t have fleas – at the start of The Castle of Adventure and Dinah implies the first hedgehog did have fleas. Philip agrees that once the hedgehog grows a bit and he’s sat on him a few times he will probably let him go.

Huffin – one half of a pair of puffins called Huffin and Puffin, from The Sea of Adventure. They are quite useful as they present Philip with fish for breakfast and help hide him when the children and Bill hide amongst sea birds in the water.

One of the puffins perches on Philip’s head, giving him a wonderful disguise


Kiki –  although strictly not Philip’s pet, kind of belongs to all the children, even though she’s most definitely Jack’s. You cannot have an Adventure story without Kiki, she is a key character, even though she sometimes causes trouble instead of helping, but we wouldn’t be without this beautiful bird and her squawks of God Save the Queen.

Philip is baffled by the strange voice in the tree before he discovers Kiki


Lizzie the lizard – Philip finds a little lizard that he thinks looks like a small dragon in Austria in The Valley of Adventure. Kiki quickly christens her Busy Dizzy Lizzie and tries to peck her whenever she can see the lump she makes under Philip’s clothes.

Lizzie the lizard


Mice – Philip has a lot of mice and small furry creatures running up and down his person at any one time. The one we meet first is a small creature in the The Island of Adventure, but as far as I can work out, it doesn’t have a name. At some point before The Castle of Adventure he has had one which he trained to eat crumbs from between his teeth.

Philip’s mouse sits on his ear as the rest of his body is underwater

Micky the monkey – Philip rescues Micky from being stoned by children in French Morocco in The Ship of Adventure. He comes aboard and lives on the ship with them – winding Kiki up beautifully and having quite a few fights with her.

Philip comforts Micky after he has had stones thrown at him


Puffin, other half of Huffin and Puffin from sea. Arrrr.

Fish for breakfast


Rats – Philip has one young rat which escaped his sleeve in poor Mr Roy’s classroom at the beginning of The Island of Adventure and goes off exploring, ending up Mr Roy’s trouser leg.

Then he had a brown rat during the summer term before The Castle of Adventure, but left it at school much to Dinah’s relief.

He also has three young white rats in the early chapters of The Sea of Adventure used which he uses to scare off a governess that they don’t like the look of. These three are called Squeaker, Woffles and Nosey.


Sally Slither – Sally is a slow-worm, and not a snake as Dinah believes. She consents to living in Philip’s pocket during Mountain of Adventure, coming out now and again to warm herself in the sun and eat flies.

Dinah thinks Sally is a snake and is afraid

Snail – a very large snail shares Philip’s pocket with the baby hedgehog in The Island of Adventure, and is careful to keep inside his shell.

Snoozy the dormouse – this mouse is picked up by Philip on the top of Sugar-Loaf hill and lives in his pocket for the rest of The Circus of Adventure. Snoozy running around Borken Castle tells Jack he is in the right place to find Philip, once he has followed them to Tauri-Hessia.

Snoozy shows Jack that he is in the right place to find Philip and the girls

Snowy the goat kid – Philip makes friends with a young goat, which then follows him around the rest of his holiday in The Mountain of Adventure. Snowy even sleeps on his bed like a dog! He comes in useful when they are trapped in the mountain as Snowy’s sure feet let him climb down the nearly sheer sides to take messages and food between Philip and the others.

Snowy takes a flying leap at Philip

Stag beetles – Dinah mentions a pair of stag beetles Philip has had in The Sea of Adventure.

Starfish – Philip mostly picks up the giant starfish in The Island of Adventure to frighten Dinah, and he puts it back quite quickly as it’s not really designed for life in a pocket.

Squirrel – a young grey squirrel is living in his pocket at the start of The Island of Adventure. He meets another, but doesn’t take it as a pet, in The Mountain of Adventure.

Philip’s pocket-squirrel


Terence the toad – Terence the toad apparently has beautiful eyes, but Dinah objects to him hopping about Spring Cottage in The Castle of Adventure.

Terrence the toad


Looking for more posts about Blyton’s animal characters? Then try these.

This entry was posted in Characters and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Philip Mannering’s animals – an essential A-Z guide

  1. chrissie777 says:

    This was a lovely post. Thank you!


  2. Anonymous says:



  3. Anonymous says:

    I love the adventure series and they where my first Enid Blyton books


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s