Magically Informed Social Work (special)

A day in the life of a Magically Informed Social worker, answering all the questions the concerned citizens of a modern urban fantasy world might have about jackalopes, surprise familiars, ghosts, what human children eat, and how to prepare for shapeshifting.


[Uplifting slightly cheesy music]

Laura (as MagISoWo): Struggling with the supernatural matters of your daily life? Our team of Magically Informed Social Workers is here to advise you when the mundane of the magical gets tough. MagISoWo! Magically Informed Social Work.

[Music fades]

[Message received]

Cliënt 1: Dear MagISoWo, I am a young werebear and I have trouble with my transformations. Whenever I get upset of frustrated it triggers my shifting and I tear up my room. Can I bear proof my room somehow or use my spare room as a safe space for when I need it? There isn’t much info out there and I’d love to hear what you think. Thank you! Yours sincerely, Troubled Cub

[Message received]


Dear Troubled Cub,

We’re so glad you reached out to us, that sounds like a very frightening experience.

If you have a spare room, it is certainly a good idea to turn that into your shifting safe space. We shall attach a checklist with the type of reinforcements we recommend for shapeshifters with animal forms of your size and strength.

Apart from this, however, we would like to stress that you should not have to go through this alone. We understand that involuntary transformations can be very frightening and that you may be afraid of hurting people, but having someone you trust near you or even on the phone when you feel like you are about to transform can make a world of difference. If you have no one in your surroundings, you feel could help you in this way, we would like to connect you to one of our colleagues to help you work out a healthy coping system.

Our team knows two werebear experts (through personal experience as well as professional training), a counsellor from Canada (he/him, black bear) and a psychologist from Sweden (they/them, brown bear).

We can put you in touch with whoever you feel most comfortable speaking to. Just let us know!

Signed, the MagiSoWo Team

[Message received]

Cliënt 2: Dear MagISoWo, what treats can I offer the magical creatures in my garden? I have seen some jackalopes about my garden and want to make sure I do not give them anything unhealthy.

[Message received]


How lovely! Jackalopes can be very shy, so it’s marvellous when you get to see them up close.

In general jackalopes won’t need feeding, but if you feel like they might be going hungry in the winter months the best thing to put out for them is hay.

If you want to give them a treat, though, leafy greens are your best bet. Dandelion leaves and spinach for instance, usually make them very happy. We’d advise to stay away from carrots and root vegetables, they do like them, but it can quickly cause problems if they eat too much.

And please don’t forget: jackalopes are wild creatures and beautiful as they are, they shouldn’t get too comfy around humans. So enjoy their company and feel free to leave them a treat around dawn or dusk, but do respect their nature.

Best of luck, the MagISoWo Team

[Message received]

Cliënt 3: Dear MagISoWo, last week my son went to kindergarten for the first time. He’s been doing so well and my wife and I are so proud of our brave pup. But now he’s got a human friend he wants to come over at ours. Louisa’s parents agreed immediately, they’re lovely people. But now I suddenly realise I don’t know much about human children. How much do they eat? Should I ask the parents to provide safe snacks or toys? Many thanks, Proud Wolf Mom

[Message received]


Dear Proud Wolf Mom,

Congratulations! Your son sounds like a real charmer and we’re so glad to hear he’s been making friends. As far as toys go, what’s good for the wolf is good for the human. If your son has been doing so well at school we are sure he knows how to play safely with human children and this shouldn’t be something to worry about.

Food is indeed a thing to consider. It may be best to ask Louisa’s parents if she has any special dietary restrictions, but on the whole for human children a good guideline is:

  • No live food.
  • No raw meat.
  • About the same portion as you’d give a pup during a waning moon.

Fruit, crackers and cookies all tend to be safe choices, but checking with the child’s caretakers is always best if you’re unsure.

We hope the kids have a great time!

Signed, the MagISoWo Team

[Message received]

Cliënt 4: Dear MagISoWo, I have recently moved into a century-old manor house and have found that one of its previous residents – a ghost who calls herself Lucinda – is refusing to leave. She claims that since she owned the house in life, she continues to own it in death, despite my name being on the deed. I don’t want to disrespect her former ownership, but I’d rather her stop shrieking at me to get out of “her house” every night. How do I tactfully approach this situation?

[Message received]


Hi, we’re very sorry to hear you’re having trouble with a spectral occupant of your new property. Buying a house should be a happy milestone, not a source of trouble!

Since this ghost clearly has no trouble making herself heard, but is rather hostile, we think it is best if you make an appointment with one of our neighbourhood mediums. They are all certified mediators as well as gifted with the second sight and in most cases they are able to negotiate a workable solution for both parties.

We do also want to mention though, that if you bought this house without being informed of its haunted status, this is a violation of the duty to disclose on the part of the seller. It is certainly worth registering a complaint and if the problems with Lucinda persist – let’s hope they will not – it may be a route to get some compensation.

But for now we advise you to focus your efforts on a reconciliation. Our professionals from the Medium-ation programme are fully at your disposal!

~ the MagISoWo Team

[Message received]

Cliënt 5: Dear MagiSoWo, my husband and I adopted a cat from a local shelter about two years ago. As soon as I saw her I knew we had a connection, but I assumed this was typical for first time pet owners. However, I’ve been noticing more and more signs that she can communicate with me. She seems to understand when I speak to her (although she will not always follow requests to stay off the table) and I always instinctively know where she is and how she’s feeling. I’ve done some searching online and it seems like she might be a witch’s familiar? I don’t know anything about witchcraft and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with the implications. Could you please give me some advice? Thanks, Cat Whisperer

[Message received]


Dear Cat Whisperer,

If your cat is truly a familiar and you two have a connection – which sounds very likely from what you have described – then the most reasonable explanation is that you are a witch. While witchcraft is often hereditary, it is not at all unheard of to meet people simply born with the gift. Even more common is the magic skipping a generation or three.

Familiars have a knack for finding eligible witches, even if those people do not realise their powers themselves, but this usually only happens when the magic presence is quite strong. Are you perhaps a little luckier than others in small ways? Or, alternatively, have you noticed odd happenings around you that do not seem to have a clear cause? Sadly there is no single reliable way to diagnose witchcraft. Some people report an allergy to milk, others a propensity to hovering above their beds in their sleep, others still exhibit no such symptoms at all. But whenever you feel ready for it, we can put you in touch with the local coven.

The witches in your neighbourhood will be able to help you find out if, how much and what kind of magic you possess. If you do not want to make yourself known to them, however, we can set up a phone appointment for you with one of own witches. We realise this is a big thing and you do not need to change your life in any way if you don’t want to. It is advised to be aware of your powers, however, as subcioncious witchcraft can cause certain problems.

Please let us know how you would like to move forward!

~ the MagISoWo Team

[Uplifting, cheesy MagISoWo music returns]

Laura: Hi there! I hope you enjoyed this Patchwork Fairy Tales special. All these questions and answers were first posted on my Tumblr blog, laurasimonsdaughter. A very warm thank you to Luna, Strawberryjelly02, my sister, and the anons, who wrote these questions, for letting me use them. And all my thanks and affection for my friends Amanda and Cat, my lovely sister Talia, and my husband, for doing impromtu voice work for me.

As always, check out, my Tumblr, or my AO3 laurasimonsdaughter, if you want to see more of my work. The next episode will be another original fairy tale if I can manage, but until then…

Remember to guard your name, and be safe~

[Music fades]

Image of the Patchwork Fairy Tale dragon from the podcast logo.

Copyright Laura Simons, please do not copy my stories without my permission, lest you insult the fae.

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