Even the most luxurious mansions in Teleleli will have some mice, roaches or owls, which the servants will be instructed to feed. This is because of the universal fear of Hungry Houses, huge predatory beasts shaped like houses, who trap and consume people. It is believed that vermin will never enter such a false house. Thus owls on the roof, or rats in the larder, assure guests that the host is not one of those wicked folk who (it is said) act as panderers to these beasts.
Hungry Houses are believed to be mobile, but naturally are reluctant to move when anyone can see them.