Phooey and the Camping Trip

by Arnold Nelson


Phooey and his family take a camping trip and end up looking for a lost little girl.

One day Bob and Nana decided to take their kids on a camping trip. The kids were all excited because there was going to be fishing and hiking and just a lot of outdoor fun.

So they all got in the car and headed up in the San Bernardino mountains. They were planning to camp near Big Bear Lake. Bob had camped near Big Bear Lake a lot when he was growing up and he always liked the area.

When they got there they found their campsite and set up camp. They were planning to stay a week and all looking forward to the clean mountain air and the fishing and hiking. The next three days they were alternating between fishing and hiking. All were having a great time and really relaxing.

As they were coming back from hiking on the fourth day they were told of the little girl that had wandered off and no one could find her. They looked all afternoon for her but no luck. It was getting too dark to see anymore that day but the next morning they were going to send more teams out and do some more searching.

The next morning Bob and Phooey went over where everyone was gathering to start the search. Bob told the man in charge that he and Phooey would like a section to search.

The man said 'Phooey is kind of young isn't he."

Bob said "My son might be young but there's nobody I'd rather have with me. He is very good at searching for people and finding them. I am a private detective and I have trained Phooey myself. I know how good he is. What he can do and what he can't do. We will work together and cover as much ground if not more ground than any of your other teams."

The man said. "Okay you sold me. Here is a radio and here is a section for you to search, good luck. You will be Charlie team."

Bob said "Great."

As they were walking away Phooey said "What did he mean we were Charlie team?"

Bob said "It is a phonetic alphabet. Each team is given a letter, but instead of using the letter they use a phonetic word because it is easier to understand. Alpha, Beta, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel. ABC DEF GH. Do you understand Phooey?"

Phooey said "Yes, it does make it easier to understand when you use words instead of the letters."

They went and talked to Phooey's mother. They told her what was going on and that they would probably be out all day searching. Tina wanted to go along to but Bob said she was too young and she should stay with her mother. Then Phooey and Bob started out searching. It took them about 30 min. but they finally got to the area they were supposed to search. They were walking along the trail that went beside a hill. Every once in a while they would call out Tree because that was a little girl's name and they hoped the little girl might hear them. They walked and they walked for about two hours then they decided to sit down and rest for a few minutes. After they rested they started walking again before long they came to a fork in the road.

Bob said "Which path should we take the high path or the low path?

Phooey said "Let's take the high path we can see more from up there.

So they headed up the path. The higher they got there worse the path got.

Bob said "We're going to have to quit this path soon is getting too dangerous."

Just as he said that part of path gave away and Phooey started sliding down the mountain. He slid about 12 to 15 feet before he landed on the lower path.

Bob yelled "Phooey! Phooey! Are you all right?"

Phooey yelled back "I am fine, I think we should take the lower path now."

Bob said "Stay there I'm coming down."

Bob went running back to the fork and then turn down the lower path and kept running. About 15 min. later he came up to Phooey, he was just sitting there calmly waiting for him.

Bob said "Are you sure you're all right, Phooey?"

Phooey said "I'm fine."

Bob made him lay down on the path anyway and checked them out as well as he could and made sure everything was all right.

When Phooey stood up again he said "Look, it looks like that cave entrance over there. We should check it out."

When they walked over there and looked in, part of the cave entrance had cave in and there was only a small entrance.

Bob said " I don't like to do this but I think we need to check to cave out. I am too big to get in there that leaves only you, Phooey. Are you willing to go in there and check it out."

Phooey sounding braver than he was said "Okay, I know what needs to be done."

Bob said "I'm going to tie this rope to the back of your pants. That way if you get in any trouble hopefully I can pull you out. Be very careful and very quiet, any loud noise can bring more of the cave down on you and we may never get you out."

Phooey took his backpack off. Bob tied the rope on the back of his pants and Phooey started to crawl in. After he got about 10 feet in and over the first pile of dirt. The cave was high enough so he could stand up. He walked on shining his flashlight. When he got about 40 feet in. The cave turned sharply to the right. Phooey turned and went about 10 more feet. He was out a rope but he could see what looked like a body laying there just passed light of his flashlight. So Phooey untied the rope and put it where he knew he could find it and continued on. When he got to her his flashlight woke her up.

She cried "I'm scared get me out of here."

Phooey said "Take my hand and we will get out of here together."

She got up and started walking with Phooey. When they got where Phooey left the end of the rope he picked it up and started following it towards the entrance. 10 min. later they were exiting the cave and Bob had a big smile on his face when he saw them.

Bob said "Phooey you really gave me a scare when you untied your rope. I never prayed so hard my life as I did when I thought I may have lost you. Tree, are you all right.

Tree said "Yes sir, just tired and hungry."

Phooey said "I'm sorry Dad but I could see something just a little farther than the light of my flashlight when I ran out of rope. I had to go check it out and it turned out it was Tree. I am sorry I scared you."

Phooey said "I have a candy bar and some water in my backpack you can have that if you want, Tree.

Tree nodded. So Phooey handed her the candy bar and water.

While she was eating Bob got on the radio and said this is Charlie team we have found the objective and we will be back in camp in about an hour. The man in charge of the radios said fantastic I will let everybody know including her parents.

60 min. later the family was reunited and there were a lot of tears and a lot of hugs.

That night they had a big celebration and after they all ate all they could they sat around singing for a while. They let Tree picked the first song and even though it was the middle of July she said I would like to sing "Silent Night." So they all got together and sang silent night for Tree. Then they sang a few more songs. Then they decided that Bob and Phooey should pick the last song because they were the ones that found Tree

Bob and Phooey looked at each other and said together "Let's sing "Let There be Peace on Earth"

After they finished singing they all went and shook the hands of Tree and her parents.

When Phooey got to Tree, Tree said "Phooey that's kind of an odd name."

Phooey said "It is a nickname, they have been calling me that since I was little."

Tree said "What's your real name,"

Phooey said "Jim"

Tree said "I don't like Phooey I will remember you as Jim, my hero"

Phooey said "You know you are right I'm almost 10 years old now I'm too old to be called Phooey anymore from now on it is just Jim."

Phooey said "What kind of a name is Tree?

Tree said "It is short for Teresa. I like it, Trees are very pretty."

Tree hugged Jim one more time then the Balooee's went back to their campsite. It was late and they had to head home in the morning.

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