A History of Ducks
Donald Duck has the most impressively extensive lineage of any Disney character, and possibly any cartoon character ever. I discovered this during a conversation at the Divot office that began with the resemblance of a certain flat-billed cap to those worn by cartoon ducks Huey, Dewey and Louie and ventured into a debate of whether or not Huey, Dewey and Louie were Donald Duck's nephews or sons. Most of the time, when the plot dictates that a cartoon character should care for a child, the child in question is his nephew or niece, not his own issue. One of my theories is that this is because the old studio system that established cartoons as a medium did not want to suggest that their animated "stars" had sex. The other theory is that, as in life, giving a cartoon character kids slows him down. He can't spend the day stuffing dynamite into his enemies' orifices when there are diapers to change. By only acting as a babysitter, he can just get rid of the kids when it's convenient.
Huey, Dewey and Louie are, in fact, Donald Duck's nephews. Donald himself is the nephew of Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge's sister Hortense McDuck married Quackmore Duck; Donald and his sister Della are their children. Hortense and some unnamed baby daddy (this is where the "cartoon chastity" theory goes out the window) are the parents of Huey, Dewey and Louie. There are about 45 ducks on the Duck family tree. I say "about" because there have been at least five versions of the Duck family tree made since the 1950s.
Like most families, learning about the Duck family is like opening a Pandora's Box full of weird-looking relatives of whose existence you were perfectly fine not knowing about. Of the Duck family members, however, I do have a new favorite. This would be Eider Duck, who inexplicably holds down a job as a falconer and wears a polo shirt much like the adidas ClimaLite 2013 Two-Color Stripe Shirt. See what I did there? It all comes together.