Flies find their food by casting spells.

Video of fly casting a spell https://thumbs.gfycat.com/DeafeningGoodnaturedBunny-max-1mb.gif

Normally these spells lead them to the food unerringly. Unfortunately the magic they use does not seem to recognise glass. It safely leads them around walls and corners and all sorts of opaque surfaces but somehow it tries to lead them straight through glass thus causing the fly a lot of confusion.

How can I explain a magic that is not all-knowing? Is there a remedy?

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    $\begingroup$ The magic works by line of sight, like dnd magic. $\endgroup$ – John Aug 6 '20 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ @John - Interesting. I don't play DND. Do you have a link? $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Aug 6 '20 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ 5esrd.com this is the free dnd rule set. you can also read the many questions in the rpg stack. $\endgroup$ – John Aug 6 '20 at 13:24

Magic is the work of unseen intelligence

This is, of course, the explanation for all the peculiarities and eccentricities of magic - particularly why magic cannot be thoroughly systematized in a scientific manner.

The intelligence which finds food for the flies and inspires the flies with the knowledge of where to go can easily travel around corners - and through walls, for that matter. However, it realizes that flies cannot travel through walls, so it guides them around corners instead.

Such magical intelligence is prone to some laziness, though (or just misunderstanding what flies want). It will guide the fly as far as the fly needs to be guided to "see" the food, and the fly is expected to take care of the rest. Except, oops, there's a closed window there.

Scientists may be flummoxed when trying to determine just how the flies always know to cluster around that half-rotten turkey hermetically sealed inside a jar...

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    $\begingroup$ Great answer! You have covered everything. I don't imagine anyone will find better but I'll leave it for a while before accepting. This will fit into a world where every creature has magic of some sort. Each may have its drawbacks. Humans, being clever, can work their way around many of the shortcomings. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Aug 6 '20 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ "Magic is the work of unseen intelligence" is, in general, a great explanation for any "magic". The system of magic in the story I'm writing has definite shades of that. It's also a great attribute for subverting the converse of Clarke's Law ("any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science") to explain why something is still "magic" (and not just some other branch of science) in a world where the existence thereof is readily demonstrable. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Aug 6 '20 at 14:13

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