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8-Year-Old Girl Pulls 1,000-Year-Old Sword From Lake

“I held it up in the air and I said ‘Daddy, I found a sword!’"
Viking Sword

Sure, the story of King Arthur drawing Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake is pretty cool. But have you heard about the eight-year-old girl who pulled a sword that’s at least 1,000 years old out of a Swedish lake?

The Swedish news site The Local reports that Saga Vanecek was playing in Vidöstern Lake this summer when she stepped on something that felt kind of like a stick.

“I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty,” she told The Local. “I held it up in the air and I said ‘Daddy, I found a sword!’ When he saw that it bent and was rusty, he came running up and took it.”

The Jönköpings Läns Museum estimates that the sword is at least 1,000 years old, and may even date to the 5th or 6th century A.D. If so, this would mean the sword pre-dates the Viking era by a few hundred years.

“Why it has come to be there, we don't know,” said the museum’s Mikael Nordström, according to The Local. “When we searched a couple of weeks ago, we found another prehistoric object; a brooch from around the same period as the sword, so that means—we don't know yet—but perhaps it's a place of sacrifice. At first we thought it could be graves situated nearby the lake, but we don't think that any more.”

Saga, who is Swedish-American and lived in Minneapolis until last year, had to keep her discovery a secret until the museum released details about it to the public. The only person she told besides her family and the museum was her best friend.

When news of the sword broke on Thursday, she was finally allowed to tell her classmates. Her teacher celebrated the day with a party, and played the TV and radio interviews Saga had conducted about the sword for the class.

Her father told The Local that some of his friends have joked that Saga’s discovery makes her the Queen of Sweden. On Twitter, many others agreed.

“Ah, finally an end to our post-election limbo,” tweeted Carl Fridh Kleberg, a reporter in Stockholm. “Tell the political parties someone else has been chosen by fate to form a government.” Some even joked (or hoped) it made her ruler of the world.

Other Twitter users, like Brooklyn-based editor Emily Hughes, cautioned against this by recalling the words of Monty Python: “strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.”

Some, though, just couldn’t get over how perfect the eight-year-old girl’s name was for all this. One Swede declared: “She will get a saga written about her, The saga of Saga.”

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