Characters

  1. Malcolm: A brave and adventurous 19-year-old boy.
  2. Barb: A brave, kind, and loving 18-year-old girl.
  3. Grizzly: A giant bear.

Introduction

‘No Time for Fear’ written by Philip Yancey describes the story of two young Canadians Malcolm and Barb who displayed rare courage and bravery in the face of certain death. Malcolm was a young man of 19 and Barb was a young girl of 18. They had met only two months before.

Summary

Malcolm and Barb go on an adventurous trip

Malcolm and Barb had a deep love for mountains and so they went on a hiking trip to Balu Pass in British Columbia’s Glacier National Park. The climb up to the Pass was smooth but an unexpected snowfall forced them to spend the night in one of the Park’s Mountain cabins. Late next morning, when it had stopped snowing, the young couple began their downward journey. As they reached midway, they were caught in a dangerous situation. They saw two bear cubs playing about 20 meters to their right.

They felt certain that the mother bear must also be not far. The mother bear was a grizzly a large fierce grey-brown bear of North America. Malcolm and Barb decided to slip away quietly. But as Malcolm lifted his foot to go forward, the grizzly came charging towards him in full rage. Within no time, the huge beast hit Malcolm with her paws. Malcolm fell down senselessly. But when he raised his head, he saw the grizzly standing on Barb’s leg and biting hard near the back of her neck. Malcolm decided there was no time for fear.

Malcolm and Barb get attacked by a bear

Without losing a moment, he rushed at the grizzly and plunged his hunting knife into her back. She roared loudly and shook her head backward. The grizzly’s twist was so powerful that Malcolm’s knife was thrown away and his wrist was broken. Now the growling bear attacked Malcolm again. Squeezing him tightly with her paws, she gave him such a blow that most of his scalp along with the hair was gone like a wig. Malcolm hit her on the nose again and again, but it had no effect on the huge beast. The grizzly mauled his face badly. Malcolm thought he would certainly die now. He closed his eyes and became motionless. As soon as he stopped moving, the grizzly left him and went away. Malcolm called out to Barb in a weak tone if she was all right. But Barb did not answer for she was afraid that the grizzly was still around.

She crawled nearer and looked at Malcolm’s seriously wounded face. She told him to hold on and ran back to the lodge for help. Malcolm lay there in a serious condition. His face had been split. His one knee cap was torn off; his front teeth were broken and his one eye was badly wounded. Meanwhile, the rescuers reached there. They sent a wireless message and arranged for a helicopter. Malcolm was taken to Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke. An emergency operation, lasting seven hours, was performed on him. More than 1000 stitches were put on his body.

Malcolm gets seriously injured

He was taken to a hospital in his hometown, Edmonton. Here 41 skin-graft operations were done on him. The doctors assured him that he would look fine after the grafts were finished and the bandages removed. One day, close to Christmas, Malcolm was alone in the hospital room. He slowly moved to the bathroom and saw his unbandaged face in the mirror. What he saw in the mirror made him sick. His face was horribly ugly and disfigured. It disappointed him so deeply that he refused to meet even his parents and close friends. He began to hate himself and the world. He stopped sending replies to Barb’s letters.

Barb loved Malcolm no matter what

However, Barb continued writing to him regularly. One fine morning, Malcolm was filled with surprise when he saw Barb walking into his hospital room. She had reached there after a long journey of 1250 kilometers. The two sat together and talked for a long time. Malcolm couldn’t decide whether Barb still loved him. However, his doubts were removed when in January 1972, he received from her a proposal for marriage. Finally, they married on 21 July 1973.

Malcolm was awarded many medals for his rare courage, bravery, and sense of sacrifice. Today Malcolm and Barb are a happy, married couple. Sometimes, people ask Barb if she married Malcolm out of a sense of obligation. She replies that she loved Malcolm before the accident and she will always love him as before. She firmly declares that scars don’t change a person.

Conclusion

The story showcases the phenomenal courage of a teenage boy and a girl when they encounter death. The chapter reflects the meaning of true friendship and true love at such a tender age. True Love is the highest feeling and the path of love is not smooth. The lovers have to face many hardships, it is always the inner beauty of a person that matters. Time can destroy physical beauty but it cannot destroy true love. In the story, Barb marries Malcolm because she loves him the same as she loved him before the accident. It’s truly said that true love knows no barriers.