|Species||Feline Creature (exact species unknown)|
|Mate||Unnamed female cat|
|First Book Appearance||The Siege of White Deer Park|
The Beast (also known as The Big Cat or The Great Cat) is a large, fierce wildcat who appears solely in The Siege of White Deer Park. The Beast arrives in White Deer Park and uses its stealth to kill many of the park's inhabitants, leaving all the creatures fearing for their lives. It has a particular appetite for the white deer herd, but also kills many other animals, including Husky. It eventually leaves the park to answer the mating call of a female cat.
It is never stated exactly what type of creature the Beast is, only that it is a very large cat, much bigger than any household cat, and as big if not bigger then Rollo (English Mastiff). The cat has been described as having golden brown fur with black blotches, a powerful, streamlined body, long legs, a small compact head with rounded ears, green eyes, and a long, thin, furry tail.
It is possible that the Beast may be one of the "phantom" big cats which have been reported to inhabit the British countryside. It's description is possibly based on a jaguar or a leopard due to the cat's colouring, climbing abilities and ambush techniques. Another theory is that it could be a hybrid of some sort, or an undiscovered species of cat roaming the land unseen by the human eye. But it has never been confirmed what species of cat it really is.
The Siege of White Deer ParkEdit
The Beast originally hunts outside White Deer Park, causing many small creatures to enter the reserve for refuge, but soon enters the park and terrorizes its inhabitants. It feasts on several of the white deer herd, always managing to avoid The Warden, who patrols the area with a gun. It is pursued at one point by Adder, but the cat traps him with its paw and toys with him, before knocking him into stream which allows the snake to escape. Friendly and five other foxes go after the cat on two occasions.
The first hunt is unsuccessful with the cat aware of his pursuers, as it watches them from the branch of a tree whilst they eat the remains of a freshly killed deer. The following night, the group of foxes continue the trail from where they left off. But the trail leads them into a copse unfamiliar to the foxes, where the cat waits before jumping down from a tree, taking the foxes by surprise. The Beast then grabs Husky in its jaws and jumps back up to the trees, carrying the young fox to a great height. Once the other foxes retreat to get help, the cat drops Husky and he falls to his death. The cat then disappears without taking Husky's body for food, possibly leaving his body for display as a warning.
The animals later find out about the Beast's lair near the stream and go to investigate, but when the cat sees them, it shows absolutely no interest in them at all and briefly washes itself before bounding off away from them. Whisper is amazed by the cat's size, and believes it to be as big as Rollo, a Mastiff dog that befriended her and her deceased mate. Tawny Owl pursues the cat and finds it hiding in a ditch near the park's boundary, and the Beast angrily inquires why the owl is showing interest in him.
Owl informs the cat of how terrified the other animals are of it even though they respect it, to which the Beast tells Owl that the humans are oblivious of the cat's species, which shocks Owl, who then tries to tempt the cat to hunt somewhere else, but the Beast refuses. However, the cat makes a pledge with Owl stating that the animals will never see it again, though it will still remain in the reserve, and if they do see it it will leave the park for good. Shortly after this, the Beast kills two more white deer and stores them until the animals have let their guard down. Later, the cat invades the corner of the reserve inhabited by the Farthing Wood animals and goes on a rampage, killing several of the smaller creatures and nearly killing Leveret; although the hare narrowly escapes, his mate falls victim to the Beast.
The Beast's underground chamber is later found by Mossy and the cat pursues the mole, digging to try and get to him. The cat is seen by Tawny Owl and Badger who try to make the cat leave and honour the pledge it made, but it refuses, stating its superiority and branding the animals as weaklings. The cat then lets out a loud roar which is answered by a female cat in the distance. The two cats call to each other (revealed to be a mating call), and the Beast abandons its potential prey and runs out of the park to join the female. They then head off far away towards her own territory, never to return to the park again.
- Though the Beast does not appear in the TV series, a female wild cat who appears in the third series seems to be based on him (though she and her sisters lack the Beast's sheer size and power, the latter mainly because Rollo kept spoiling her chances to show it).