A truly magical advice column
Dear Grand Wizard,
I’m not looking for advice today but I was hoping you could share a bit about wizardly ethics. For instance, do you think it’s a waste to use magic to sweep, dust and do the dishes? Does being a wizard change how you celebrate Thanksgiving?
Curious about jowly fowl
A fine question, a fine question indeed—and curious.
I was so curious upon receiving it that I considered consulting a crystal ball to ascertain your motives. Unfortunately I sent all mine away with a local faun to be polished, at least I think he was local. If he was a traveling faun I’m unlikely to see those crystal balls ever again, but that’s neither here nor there—unless the faun is actually here, somewhere.
Oh fine yes, I’m stalling. I’m embarrassed, but I’m not so proud as to withhold my wisdom, or at least not what little I have managed to glean from the practice of domestic upkeep.
As a young wizard I had great ambitions. Though my ambitions were great in force, they were quite small and mean in nature. Yes, I picked up my first book of spells in the pursuit of vice. Some might have called the vices small, but a drop of poison spoils the whole well, and I was soon mastered by these small vices.
I thought of no higher use for my magical abilities than to serve myself. It is peculiar frailty that humans and wizards share, that we will break our backs to win ourselves freedom from burdens. Such is the temptation of sweeping, dusting, and scrubbing.
So I pursued my studies and my training, and set the sponges to work for me—and the spoons and the wash basin and whatever else I could press into service. Then I took my rest, but it was a rest without ease, with no restoration. Soon my rest made me restless but I could not see the source of my unease.
I went back to my books seeking the answer for what ailed me. I sought an answer to the pain of my effortless life. For the first time in my wizarding career, my dusty tomes failed me, but my rescue came one evening by the hearth.
In the dim light of the hearthfire, I saw the shadow of a monstrous figure play against freshly painted walls. I thought a beast had stolen in; that in my well-managed insularity I had not sensed the approach of a rabid carbuncle or feral manticore. I stumbled and fell as I jumped to meet my foe and there, facedown on my freshly mopped, I came face to face with a tiny dormouse.
He had a bag of woven grass slung across his back and he looked tired. He wiped his brow with ball of lint and readjusted his load.
“What’s in the sac?” I asked, not minding my manners. He gave a start and turned to reply. “The day’s forage m’lord, some thread for my lady’s apron and the last elderberry of the season for my young Susie.”
At that moment the chains of my small ambitions were broken.
I gathered my cloak and staff, put on an old pair of boots, and packed a few books into a satchel. I left my home in the care of Lewis, the dormouse, and his small family and promised them a generous stipend to be delivered by owl twice monthly.
I set out that day to see what good I could do, and what truth I could learn in doing so. I hope that answers your question about the ethics of magical housework.
As to your second question, wizards display their thankfulness in much the same way as everyone else. They go home and have big dinner with a large and lovely family of dormice and they invite whoever’s hungry.