Everyone loved Donald Duck and his rascally nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. Uncle Scrooge, being a Scotsduck, could be nothing but parsimonious, but he was kind of lovable, too.

The first time I saw a Donald Duck comic book, Donald and his nephews were visiting Uncle Scrooge at McDuck Mansion and he took them to his treasure room where they stood on his boundless expanse of gold coins and jewels while Scrooge dived into the piles as though he were swimming in them. I was just a little girl and was enthralled by enough money to swim in, and then Scrooge informed the boys that, “A penny here a penny there is enough to make a millionaire.” It sounded good to me, but I knew my mom and dad saved pennies, dimes and quarters in an orange carnival glass on their dresser and we sure weren’t millionaires. I’ve never been quite sure why they didn’t save nickels, too, but they never did. Maybe dad saved nickels for buying coffee with his friends. Yes, that was what a cup of coffee cost then.

My older brother read the same comic book and immediately came to the conclusion that Donald and the boys were dumb and should just take whatever money they wanted and Scrooge would never know the difference. (Bilbo Baggins might tell him a thing or two about dragons, though.)

My brother’s take on the matter horrified me. Good people, like good ducks, would never, ever take what did not belong to them. I’m still absolutely certain that Uncle Scrooge earned his riches righteously, and that Donald and his nephews were absolutely trustworthy and honest.

Sometimes when I think about my parents savings being mere pennies at times, I marvel at how honest they were. It’s funny to think about now, but my father would go to the grocery store and check off the items on the tape when he and mom would put the groceries away. If there was a discrepancy on either side, even if it was only a penny, he would return to the store and either pay them or ask for a refund. The clerks never questioned his veracity.

What a legacy of savings and absolute honesty I was given. If you are honest, also be grateful, if you are not, best to at least think about what you do to yourself.


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