Girl Who Found Ancient Sword in Lake: "People Are Saying I Am the Queen of Sweden" | Revolver

Girl Who Found Ancient Sword in Lake: "People Are Saying I Am the Queen of Sweden"

Saga Vaneck offers endearing first-hand account of King Arthur–worthy discovery of 1,500-year-old pre-Viking weapon
saga-sword.jpg, Andrew Vanecek
Saga Vanecek, 2018
Courtesy of Andrew Vanecek

Earlier this month, we crowned young Saga Vanecek "Queen of All Things Metal," and now she has completed her first royal duty by telling the story in her own words in a precious op-ed for The Guardian. As told to writer Moyna Starner, Saga recalls in detail, "I waded into the water and it was very soft on my skin and refreshing, a little bit cool but not too cold. It was a nice feeling because the sun was shining and I was very hot. Daddy was begging me to rush so he could watch the World Cup final, but I like to take my time about things so I ignored him." Ignoring men before you're even 10? Hell yes, small queen.

sword.jpg, Andrew Vanecek
photograph by Andrew Vanecek

While looking for stones, the girl found an unexpected object: "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!'" Saga then describes the moment she felt her power growing, "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."

The discovery led her to run straight to her mother and grandmother, and the girl describes how the excitement of the find prevented her father from being able to watch football. While it's doubtful he felt much remorse upon learning his daughter had uncovered a 1500-year-old museum-worthy artifact, it does speak to Saga's sweet disposition that she felt it important to mention this detail.

sword-museum.jpg, Jonkopings museum
The sword discovered by Saga Vanecek
Courtesy of Jonkopings museum

She then goes on to detail that archeologists have since discovered a brooch from the same era as the sword, as well as a coin from the 18th century. Her school celebrated her discovery with an ice cream party, and though she was somewhat disappointed she didn't get to keep the weapon, she wants to "to try to raise some money to make a replica sword that I can keep." She ends her essay by rebuffing claims she's an actual queen:

"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."

Read the Saga's full account at the Guardian.