An eight-year-old Swedish girl gained international attention earlier this month for discovering an incredible, 1,500-year-old Viking relic at the lake where her family has a summer home.
Saga Vanecek says she was outside splashing around in the water, “throwing sticks and stones and stuff to see how far they skip,” when she picked up an unusually heavy stick. She was about to drop it back into the water when she noticed it had a handle and a pointy end, and alerted her father to the discovery.
The incident occurred on July 15, but after reporting the sword to authorities, researchers from the local Jönköpings Läns Museum asked Saga to keep mum on her discovery so they could have the opportunity to search for more relics before the public found out. Archaeologists also found a brooch and an 18th-century coin in the same lake.
Now, Saga is enjoying her time in the spotlight, and has even opened up with an adorable piece for the Guardian describing what the experience was like.
Saga said that she was out by the lake and her father had asked her to get a buoy from the cabin. This summer had been the hottest in 260 years, so the water level in the lake had sunk to a dangerous low and they wanted to warn any boats passing by.
It was then that Saga made her big discovery:
I was crawling along the bottom of the lake on my arms and knees, looking for stones to skim, when my hand and knee felt something long and hard buried in the clay and sand. I pulled it out and saw that it was different from the sticks or rocks I usually find. One end had a point, and the other had a handle, so I pointed it up to the sky, put my other hand on my hip and called out, “Daddy, I’ve found a sword!”
I felt like a warrior, but Daddy said I looked like Pippi Longstocking. The sword felt rough and hard, and I got some sticky, icky brown rust on my hands. It started to bend and Daddy splashed up to me, and said I should let him hold it. It was my sword and now he was taking it away! I gave it to him in the end.
For months Saga kept quiet about her sword, telling only her best friend Emmy who she says she now knows she can trust “because she didn’t tell anybody” besides her parents.
Ultimately, Saga had to let the museum keep the sword because as her father explained, “it’s part of history and important to share it with others.” But it goes without saying that she’s still pretty chuffed about the whole thing.
People on the internet are saying I am the queen of Sweden, because in the legend of King Arthur, he was given a sword by a lady in a lake, and that meant he would become king. I am not a lady – I’m only eight – but it’s true I found a sword in the lake. I wouldn’t mind being queen for a day, but when I grow up I want to be a vet. Or an actor in Paris.
“Now, whenever I go swimming in the lake, I will be looking to see what I can find,” she says at the end of the piece. “It feels like that lake might be a little bit magic. On that day I felt a little bit magic, too.”
H/T The Guardian