A Good Witch’s Guide to Teach and Learn Death

Bekkie Jean Murphy


Option No. 1

Find the wren carcass on your front porch, and if the body has been there fewer than two days, acquire a pint of goat’s blood from your neighbor (either call upon on an earthly favor to which he is indebted or place a honey jar spell under their deck). Sift three handfuls of sand from your children’s sandbox. Paint a pentagram around the wren’s stiff body and throw sand at it while whispering, “Tabula Rasa Per Capitar Non Sequitir!” Be quiet as to assure your neighbors do not discover you are a family of witches. Leave lifeless body and wait for it to wake up.

Option No. 2

Give the carcass CPR for five minutes. Use a straw as to not contract a virus. Place the pad of your finger over its chest and tap lightly. Picture your life force channeling into the body with each gentle tap. The wren is small, so it will only require the life force in your two pointer fingers. Give up. You broke all its bones and it was dead anyways.

Option No. 3

Let the carcass sit on the porch and rot, but bring the baby birds inside. When the maggots come, collect them and feed to the babies. Try to keep the nestlings warm so they won’t die. String together daisies and cloves to raise vibration in their spirits.

Option No. 4

Pick up the dead wren carcass, wrap it up in an old newspaper, and bury it in the backyard. Dig the hole at least six inches deep and pack it down so no animals can get to it. If there are bobcats or coyotes in your backyard, cover the grave in black pepper. It will deter the animals from digging it up. Put the pepper in the form of a cross to ward off evil spirits.

Option No. 5

Tell your son to do Option No. 4. Tell him it’ll put hair on his chest, and all warlock’s require hairy chests (see Raising a Proper Warlock, Chapter 7).

Option No. 6

Tell your daughter to do Option No 4. Tell her to defy stereotypes. Good witches defy stereotypes and overcome obstacles without crying (see Raising a Proper Witch, Chapter 5).

Option No. 7

Use the bird as an opportunity to teach your young witch and warlock about the fragility of life. Tell them sometimes bad things happen to good creatures and we don’t know why. Tell them not to be mad. You were never a good witch anyways.




Bekkie Jean Murphy writes in Atlanta, Ga. A Georgia Southern University graduate, she currently works for the Atlanta Ballet, and her work has appeared in The Coil.