I'm Afraid of Bears

by Jonas Winslo

The airport in Anchorage has a large collection of stuffed animals, not gift shop stuffies, grotesque taxidermical nightmares. Every animal is rendered in full blood-thirsty attack mode. Lunging badgers, snarling wolves, elk impending impalement. The Bear stands twelve feet tall with a roaring world-record head and massive paws that could smash a bison’s skull (according to the plaque). I realize now that this factoid is a cold calculation of force and bone density. As a child, I assumed someone witnessed a frenzied buffalocide on the prairie.


Jonas Winslo crafts in the Pacific Northwest. He is dexterous, almost uncomfortably tall and can recognize every breed of dog except some of those new poodle mixes.