Answers from Leif Erikson
This is pretty weird.
So, I’m walking through a viking village in Iceland! And, is that, no way! It is! It’s Leif Erikson, the renowned Viking who was the first to come upon America and was the son of Erik the Red!
I’m passing through a crowd of children, who are running around with some goat. Youch! That goat has got some kick in it! I better move on. I’ve finally made it into Leif’s hut. He’s sitting on a large throne, made out of oak and cedar wood. Carved into it are scenes from old Viking Sagas and other adventures of Thor, Odin, Tyr, Frigg and other Norse gods.
An oracle stands before, head bowed, hood enclosing his mangled face. He almost jumps when Leif’s voice booms:
“Tell me, oracle, will I have a son!”
The oracle shivers with fear, fiddles with his fingers, thinking of something to say.
“Well, oracle. Tell me; or will I have to cut off your head-”
“I’m sorry, your Highness, but I just don’t know,” blurts the oracle. “Only the gods know these things-”
“And aren’t you not linked with the confounded gods?” Lief exclaims. “Maybe those Christians who visited earlier, have a god stronger than ours.”
The oracle pleads, “No, no your Merciful, please, don’t stoop down this low into letting a foreign practice into this fair country-”
“I need no more of this silly talk. Guards! Take this man and leave him in the woods for several days. When the beasts have devoured him, burn the remainings of his body. Now go!”
The large and burly guards grab the oracle by his arms and drag him out of Leif’s hut, the oracle screaming as the large doors slam shut.
Leif’s assistant stands straight and tall next to him, looks at his scroll and declares:
“The next in line of conversations with the Excellent Leif Ericson is the youth Joziah of… Atlantic States?”
“Atlantic States?” the chief cries. He strokes his red beard. “Hmm. Never heard of it. Come forward, young one.”
Wait, does he mean me?
Uh, okay. I walk up to the steps of throne. He thinks me to bow, but I ain’t gonna’ do it. I don’t bow to big guys like him… or should I since he can cut off my head.. nah, better not do it. It’s against the Bible.
“Well, what do you want, boy?” Leif demands, slamming his fist on the arm-holders.
I almost jump from the wooden floor. “Umm, uh, I was sent here, somehow. I think by Professor Lofgren to ask you several questions about your life here in Iceland.”
Leif suddenly smiles. “Ah, curious aren’t you. To come all the way from… where did you say you were from?”
“Atlantic States.. I think.”
“Atlantic States! Right! Anyway, continue.”
“ ‘Kay. Now, question number one,” I click out my pen point and flip through my 1 Subject Notebook, “When were you born?
Leif rubs his very hairy chiny-chin-chin and looks up at the ceiling to think. “Hmm… It was many a year ago. What year is it now, Tyr?”
The assistant quickly looks through his scrolls and states, “ 1003 A.D. exactly.”
“Good,” Lief says confidently. “So, that means that I was born in… 970 A.D.! Yes, I am exactly 23 years old.”
“Okay,” say I. “Now question number two: how many children have you right now?”
“Two boys,” Leif answers. “Thorgils and Thorkell, are their names.” Really? sounds more like fish than boys, I think.
“Question number three: How did you get the nickname ‘Leif the Lucky’?”
“Pah, that was when I came back from Vinland. I found a castaway and his crew on Vinland, and rescued ‘em. Then all of a sudden, people start calling me Leif the Lucky.”
“Right,” says I. “Now, about Vinland-”
“Ah, Vinland,” Leif interrupts. “A splendid land full of forests and streams, mountains and brooks and all tangled up in vines. But anyway, what was your question going to be?”
I clear my throat. “Um I was going to ask when you left for Vinland and why?”
Lief leans his face on his fist that was planked on the throne’s arm-rest. “That is a good question. I wanted to start a new colonization. And so I went and explored. I came upon Vinland actually by accident. Many of my crew declared that savages lived on the land that would surely kill us.” Leif laughs. “But I guess we left too early for them. I’ve come back to my home and met several Christians that have been leading me closer to Christ.
“My father, Erik the Red, does not approve of it, but I will not let that bother me. Now, have I answered all of your questions?”
“Almost,” I say. “You haven’t answered when you left.”
“Oh, right! Now let me think… Tyr!”
Tyr quickly perks up from his short sleep. “Er, uh yes sir?”
“My memory is a little dark. Can you tell this boy what year it was when I discovered Vinland?”
Tyr fumbles through the scrolls again and says loudly: “In the exact year of 1000 A.D. Does that suffice, your Excellency?”
“Yes,” Leif says.
I finish writing inside my notebook and stand up from sitting. “Thank you very much, Mr.
Leif Ericson, Sir. You have been most helpful.”
Leif walks from him throne and stands right in front of me. The books are right. He is tall, strong and wise. I think, in future years, he will be a good Christian too, as the History books say.
He sticks his hand out at me. I shake it. Pretty cold actually. And clamming too. Ugh. Now he’s done shaking my hand and waves me away. As I leave, I hear Tyr say:
“Announcing a King Olaf I…”
~* * * * * * *~
Well, now I have enough for my essay. I think I’ll start it out by writing:
Here are Answers by Leif Erikson, Explorer of America...