The legend of King Arthur opens with the young man being guided by Merlin to draw the sword from the stone: a feat said only to be possible for Britain’s rightful king. The legend has permeated throughout the centuries, depicted through spoken word, on film, and even in Disney cartoons — and maybe that’s why it’s so hard to discuss an 8-year-old Swedish-American girl named Saga Vanecek without eliciting images of Arthur’s destined royalty, or even Beowolf’s mythic heroics.
Because like these legendary heroes of old, young Saga Vanecek has also drawn a seemingly impossible sword from the depths of a European lake — prompting locals in the nearby town of Tånnö, Småland to dub her the “queen of Sweden.” An appointment that could be difficult, seeing as Sweden’s crown jewels were stolen earlier this year.
“I was outside in the water, throwing sticks and stones and stuff to see how far they skip, and then I found some kind of stick,” the young girl told local newspapers. “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. 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.”
Her father, Andy Vanecek, a Minnesota native that relocated to Sweden last year so his family could be closer to his wife’s relatives, relayed what it was like watching his daughter make the discovery in a Facebook post, in which he added the sword was found complete with its scabbard.