JK Rowling is penning a screenplay for a new film series of her book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which featured in the Harry Potter series.

The book is a fictional encyclopedia of 75 magical creatures, ‘written’ by fictional magizoologist Newt Salamander (the grandfather of Luna Lovegood’s husband, Rolf), with advice on where they can be found.

This is all very well, but we all know that dragons can be found in caves and monsters under our beds – what about the mediocre beasts, the ones we could really do with avoiding?

Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are dangerously stupid and generally inclined to getting eaten, stepped on or buried by the dog. The only reason they have managed to survive the evolution process thus far is because they’re fluffy, hopeless and permanently surprised-looking, and humans take pity on them. Pretty easy to avoid – just leave the cage door open, wait 24 hours for them to notice, then watch as they waddle around the garden in a slow, blind panic until they get eaten, stepped on or buried by the dog.

Cute but essentially useless

Cows

They’re everywhere. If some extraterrestrial being or mad scientist bestowed brains and evil intent on them, they’d be a complete nightmare, it would be like Day of the Triffids but with legs and sinister moo-ing and sour milk flying everywhere. As it is they’re pretty boring. Avoid by not visiting the countryside, which is good advice in general.

Sinister

Handbag dogs

You know the kind – you see them poking sweetly out of pink leather handbags under the arms of perfect pink-crystal encrusted women with enormous hair who look like they’ve been rolled gently in Barbie dust before being ushered warmly into Brentwood’s shopping malls and nail salons. Do not be fooled – these are not proper dogs, they are aspirational dogs. Who knows if they even have legs? If it looks like you could pick it up and throw it, it’s still aspiring. Avoid by crossing the street, but try not to offend their owners who can hobble surprisingly fast even in 6 inch Jimmy Choos.

Not to be confused with a proper dog

Goldfish

About as pointless an animal as you can hope to encounter, the common goldfish is at once boring and useless. Most boring beasts at least have the decency to be useful, like worms aerating the soil to grow our food, or maggots facilitating the decomposition process. Goldfish have never done anything useful for anyone, although in some countries you can get them in alcoholic fishbowl cocktails which is disgusting and cruel, and funny. They have zero memory, can’t get up much speed in the goldfish bowl and downright refuse to race each other. My point is, they’re mediocre and you should avoid them. They won’t hold it against you, unless you count a two-second grudge before they forget and float off to not do anything interesting somewhere else.

Hamsters

Not to be confused with the aforementioned guinea pig, hamsters are smaller, lighter and not nearly as stupid as their furry friends. But most hamsters are still a little bland. Get a Russian hamster – they fight your affection every step of the way, loathe being stroked and spend their lives trying to escape, chewing through the wiring in the process. Ours used to hang upside down from its cage like a tiny angry mustard coloured bat. No need to avoid – they have a lifespan of around eight weeks, or they did in our household. Just wait for them to die.

Hamster eating popcorn on a piano – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhrdq1N9sgQ

Hamster ‘getting shot’ and playing dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nhll1UslDg

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