Study Guide

Varmints/Hunger Birds in The Ocean at the End of the Lane

By Neil Gaiman

Varmints/Hunger Birds

Cleaners

The hunger birds, or what Gran refers to as "varmints," are kind of like supernatural janitors/immigration agents. When something is out of hand or doesn't belong in a certain world, their job is to eat it and take care of it once and for all. They're stubborn, willful, aggressive, and sometimes—like in our case—they get a bit too big for their britches. Thankfully Gran is around to send them packing.