In the older cartoons, it was always Donald's Sister, Della, who brought his nephews over for a visit. Then Cartoon Disney appeared in the 90's, and suddenly Donald was their legal guardian. No explanation. Well, this is my take on what happened.
The noise of three rambuncious boys in the midst of a sword fight could be heard as Donald answered the phone. "Now keep it down boys, Uncle's on the phone- Louie! No standing on the china cabinet!" The phone hung in the air for a moment as Donald dashed off to haul his nephew away from his current dueling position.
"Sorry Uncle Donald."
"Sorry about that, Donald Duck speaking," Donald finally answered as he swooped in to catch the phone.
"Mr. Duck?" came the voice from the other end, "This is police officer Scwab of Boulder Colorado police department speaking. I'm afraid I have some bad news. It's about you're sister. Normally, we'd send someone to deliver this kinda thing in person, but seeing as you're half way across the country…"
Donald listened intently to the officer at the other end as his face continued to fall. "Wha? … But how?… I see… No I- I understand. … Yeah? …. Yes, they're here with me. … Uh-huh. … Thank-you officer. … Yes, I'll be sure to inform- … Yes. … Thank you…"
"I'm sorry I had to call you with such bad tidings. The bodies will be in the Boulder Morgue under Della Duck until one of your family can come to retrieve them. Again, I'm sorry for you're loss."
"Thank you officer, good night." Donald hung up the phone, tears swelling in his eyes. His baby sister- how was he going to tell the boys? How do you tell someone that their parents have been-?
Donald walked into the living room with his head dropped, oblivious to the chaos around him as his nephews continued their game. Huey, Dewy and Louie stopped as they noticed their Uncle's serious demeanor. Something was deffinetly wrong. Normally he'd be yelling at them by now. Donald slowly made his way to the large armchair as his nephews watched, Dewy getting out of his way as Donald sat in the chair.
"Boys, we need to talk about something. Something that- Something-
"Are we in trouble Uncle Donald?"
Donald just slowly shook his head. "Come here." He spread his arms wide as his nephews climbed into the chair with him. With Huey almost sitting on one arm, and Dewy and Louie almost sitting on the other, the four ducks managed to snuggle into the large armchair quite comfortably.
"Who called Uncle Donald?" broached Dewy.
"Yeah," added Louie, "Was it Mom? Are we staying longer?"
Donald looked sadly at his boys (and they really were his boys now) and tried to find the best way to explain.
"Well," he started, "You see- they were driving- and uh- it was raining- and uh…" He looked into his nephews faces, so content, almost expectant, like this might be a gift of some kind, after all, this meant they'd be staying longer at their Uncle's… and he found he couldn't do it. Donald broke down into tears.
"Uncle Donald!" the trio exclaimed.
"Uncle Donald, what's the matter?" Dewy asked, looking concerned.
Huey's face was the first to fall, and the first triplet whom comprehension of the situation first came to, probably marking him as the leader of the trio for the rest of his life. He looked at his Uncle for a moment, almost asking that it couldn't be true, but Donald only continued to sob. He turned to his brothers.
"Remember when we had that goldfish Dad bought us?"
"Yeah, Freddy!" Louie answered, excited at remembering something so long ago, at least for his memory. Huey nodded.
"Remember how he stopped moving after a while?"
"Yeah," Dewy said, becoming a little sad for his fish, "Mommy said he just left his body, and that he was someplace really happy now."
"I remember," Louie added, "We had to flush him down the toilet."
"Mom and Dad said that's what dying was, when you stop moving and you leave you're body behind," Huey continued, his bother's nodding. Huey turned to his Uncle. "Is that what happened, Uncle Donald? Did Mom and Dad stop moving?"
Such a simple way to put it. They stopped moving. But it seemed good enough for now. Donald looked gratefully at his nephew. "Yeah, they stopped moving."
Dewy looked from his brother to his uncle in panic. "But can't they fix them?" Louie hung onto his bother's question as well. They knew sometimes that their toys stopped working, but they could always get them started again. Surely that would work this time, wouldn't it?
"No boys. Sometimes- Sometimes- you can't fix people."
"Yeah," Huey added, "Besides, they're not there anymore, right Uncle Donald? They left."
"But why would they leave us?" Louie asked, tears brimming.
"I'm sure they didn't do it on purpose," Huey said, "They would never leave forever on purpose, would they Uncle Donald?" he asked the older duck, a little bit of fear slipping into his voice.
"Oh, boys," Donald swooped them up into a large hug, holding all of them close, "Your Mother would never do that. She just didn't have a choice, and neither did your Father."
"What do we do now?" Dewy whispered.
"You stay here with me," Donald said, "And we figure out the rest later."
"Okay," the trio chorused.
Later that night the triplets were sipping hot chocolate in the living room while Uncle Donald made calls to other relatives over the phone. They could hear his voice grow a bit steadier with each call and they were grateful for that. The first couple calls it was all their uncle could do to keep from breaking down into sobs again.
"So does this mean we're gona stay with Uncle Donald forever Huey?"
"I guess so."
"What about our old house?" Louie asked.
"I guess they'll have to sell it," Huey answered.
"Will we get our stuff back?'
"I don't know, maybe."
"Huey?" Dewy looked at his brother apprehensively. Huey was staring off into space over his steaming mug.
"Everything's gona be different now, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it is."
The trio sat in thoughtful silence as their Uncle came back in and slumped into the chair. He sighed and passed his hand over his eyes for a second before noticing his nephews sitting on the rug.
"It's been a long day boys, time for bed."
"Okay," the trio answered as they went to put their mugs away.
After their bedtime story, Donald tucked them into bed. He was trying his best to keep things normal. He'd heard somewhere that that was the best thing for young kids. So their bedtime story had been the normal type, filled with knights, and evil warlords and dragons. He hadn't thought about-
"In our stories, the bad guys always die, and the good guys always live happily ever after. So why did Mom and Dad die? Why didn't they get a happily ever after? They weren't bad guys, were they?"
Donald sighed and sat down on the edge of Dewy's bed, the rest of his nephews listening intently.
"Sometimes good people die too. We only listen to stories about the bad guys getting the snot kicked out of 'em, because sometimes it doesn't work that way, and we don't like it much. You wouldn't want the good guys to die, would you?"
"I guess not," Dewy conceded.
"Uncle Donald?" Louie asked, "Are you gona die?"
Donald sighed again. There was no point in lying- "I might. Someday."
"What would happen to us then?"
"You'd go to your Uncle Scrooge's."
"The one with all the money?"
"But I don't want you to die," Huey piped in.
"I'm not going anywhere for awhile yet," Donald told him, standing up to reach the top bunk and ruffling his head feathers. He walked to the door and stood for a moment, the hall light making him a shadowy figure. "Good night boys."
"Good night Uncle Donald," they chorused. Donald began to close the door.
"We love you Uncle Donald," came a small voice from within.
Donald paused. "I love you too," he said quietly. The door closed with a click, and all was quiet.
This is an oldie, but I think still a goody. Been sitting on my laptop forever, I just could never remember to post it. I hope you enjoyed as always, and don't be afraid to let me know what you think.
Keep writing everyone!