Wednesday, September 12, 2018

An Heir and a Spare

Hello, Karstuhl here!

If you are a sovereign of a land, you want to let your offspring inherit the land. There is often just one of them who can inherit the land, but sovereigns still get more than one pup. The principle is sometimes explained with the sentence that the sovereign gets ”an heir and a spare”. If the heir would pass away, would not get any pups, or there is any other reason the lineage cannot continue through the heir, you have a younger spare.

The Emperor of Japan has just this: an heir and a spare. The heir does not have any sons, and there is male inheritance only. The spare has a son, however.

I will inherit my mother’s land, pack, and blog, in due time. I have an heir: Soya, who lives with Paula’s sister and her family. I also have a spare: Li’l Gertrud, who lives with us.

This summer, when Soya was in heat, she got to hang around with a male for a long time. At a check up by a veterinarian today, however, it turned out Soya is not expecting pups. There is a little risk that Soya cannot have any pups at all, any time. Then the hope is that Li’l Gertrud will get pups. She is the spare.

When planning your lineage, old knowledge from sovereigns is good. The words about an heir and a spare may turn out to be important for us. I hope that both Soya and Li’l Gertrud will have pups, eventually, but you never know in advance. It is better to be safe than sorry.

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