well, recasting, I made the guide turned into a crow. He can turn back, but it was originally cast on him. (He may need to change back from time to time -- cusre and all that.) He tells the Wise Old Wizard that being a crow meant he learned about death, and has, in fact, hidden out in the boneyard, though that's impossible with the students.
Lo and behold, I have not only introduced shapeshifting into the world, I have ensured that they change into iconic animals and gain marvelous knowledge from it.
hmmm. Perhaps it could have unpleasant consequences. The guide, after all, was forced into it.