Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The only good thing is this op-ed from the child who pulled a 1,500-year-old sword from a lake

Photo: Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

Despite what the name of this section may lead you to believe, there’s a lot of bad stuff online. The internet is not only a reflection of our tumultuous external world but also our internal lives, and there’s a lot of bad stuff in there, too. But, at least for today, we can all take some joy in this singular very good thing that exists on the web: An op-ed written by Saga Vanecek, the 8-year-old girl who pulled a 1,500-year-old sword from a lake in Sweden.

You may remember hearing about this story a few weeks ago. While skipping stones at a local watering hole with her family, Vanecek discovered a pre-Viking era sword buried in the muddy lake bottom. “I felt like a warrior, but Daddy said I looked like Pippi Longstocking,” Vanecek writes in her op-ed for The Guardian. Her account of the day is filled with the seamless mixture of wide-eyed innocence and matter-of-fact assessment that only children under 10 can pull off. There’s also a few tangential comments that most adults writing op-eds would foolishly excise, like this bit where she talks about having to keep her discovery a secret until archaeologists had a chance to excavate the site themselves:

It wasn’t hard to keep the secret. But I did tell one of my best friends, Emmy, and now I know I can trust her because she didn’t tell anybody, except her parents – but they promised not to tell anybody else, so that’s OK.


Ultimately, archeologists did find a brooch in the lake that’s as old as the sword and “a coin from the 18th century.” The sword now resides alongside those artifacts in a local museum, which Vanacek admits initially made her feel “boo,” but now she feels “yay” because other people can enjoy her findings. As for the minor celebrity she received for finding the sword, the 8-year-old swede seems more adjusted than any other person unfortunate enough to go viral:

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.

If only all content could be this pure and good. You can read the whole op-ed here.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com


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About the author

Dan Neilan

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Have Fun — Will Travel.