I grew up next to Rock Creek Park, a large, urban park that runs throughout Washington, DC. Deer, possum, raccoons and the occasional owl were as much of my childhood landscape as were heavy traffic, presidential motorcades, and the Smithsonian. As a child, I would often go into the forest and dream up wild adventures for the characters I created in my head. I saw a majestic stag once, who glanced at me for one eerie moment, before bounding away. There were hawks in the park, too, circling above with their impressively long wings. I didn’t need a wardrobe-shaped portal; another world was literally steps away. “Sapling,” my story about a very different kind of Green Man, is an homage to Rock Creek Park, and by extension, all such sanctuaries embedded in the urban terrain.

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