Strange Horizons, July 28, 2008
This story is about a novice veterinarian forced to treat an alien beast. The setting with its black thorn fences originated in a dream I had that was inspired by a weird item I saw in the produce section of the supermarket, called a "caltrop" or "horned water chestnut." The actual dream was scary, but the story ends on a hopeful note.
- Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois