21 June 2007

We're Vikings!

Meet the young Leif Erikson. Isn't "he" adorable?

Pity that his father, Erik the Red, is such a brute.
He wields a mean garden weasel. Better to stay in his good graces.

This is Sven, another meanie with a garden tool. He's a part of Erik's marauding gang.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

This sweet, innocent, young Viking girl is far too compassionate to carry brutal instruments of death and gardening. She, instead, prefers to narrate stories about the Viking days of yore.

Her tale begins in around the year 975, when Erik the Red is exiled from Norway for, what polite society calls, "some killings." Taking his family with him, Erik sailed into the unknown and settled in a land he named, Iceland.

This is Iceland.

Erik and Co. made a lovely settlement in Iceland, but due to some unreconcilable differences, (which some might also call "killing"), Erik and his band were exiled yet again.

I mean, look at these guys. These are some tough customers!
(Well, except Leif, who looks like such a mild-mannered little Viking boy. What a shame that his father couldn't control his temper. At least he got to see the world because of it.)

Erik, Leif, Sven, and the rest of the Viking gardeners set sail for unknown lands.

The next stop was a place Erik named, Greenland. While there, he either got older or wiser, but whatever the case, Erik's temper calmed down significantly. No more killing incidents. At least, not on record. Erik was becoming the stay-at-home kind of Viking. He named his two settlements, Western Settlement and Eastern Settlement.

Oh yes, Erik was an imaginative bloke- Iceland, Greenland, Western Settlement, Eastern Settlement. Next thing you know, he's going to wax creative and affectionately name his longboat, Viking Ship. With all his spare time not spent raping and pillaging, perhaps he even knitted shield covers for his men and put those lethal garden implements to good use.
The world may never know.

Erik's son, Leif, however, had an itch for adventure. He'd heard the tales of King Olav of Norway, whose strength was like that of an ox, whose intelligence was greater than any other highly imaginative Viking of that day, whose athletic prowess was so keen that it was rumored he could jump from oar to oar on the longships as they sailed. Leif was dying to meet Olav.

So he sailed to Norway and carried with him the riches of the Greenland settlements. Furs, trade goods, and even a polar bear cub.

Olav was a gracious host, entertaining Leif through a long winter with song, dance, stories by the fire, mead, and lots of oar jumping. Olav also shared something very significant with Leif, and if you can guess what it was, you get a "Get Out of One Viking Pillage Free" card.

Leif set out for Greenland, but got blown off course in a storm. In an open Viking longship, this is NOT a good thing. Leif the Lucky (as he is also called) eventually found himself on the shores of a land he dubbed, Vinland, which means, "Land of Grapes." It seems Leif inherited his father's penchant for clever names. Where Leif ended up (in our terms) was eastern Canada, and what he thought were grapes were actually probably blueberries. But we'll forgive him. Because how could he have known. And he's such a peace-loving child.

This tender Viking maiden partakes of the bounty of Vinland. She is contemplating how to make wine and mead out of blueberries.

Leif eventually found his way back to Greenland and his father, Erik. He really was Leif the Lucky, huh? With him he brought grand tales of his adventures, the news of a new land that was much easier to garden (very important to the Vikings), that grew blueberry-ish grapes, and... that one special thing that I'm going to let you guess. Leif presented this new thing to Erik the Red, who, as you can see, was not initially pleased with the idea.
I sure hope there are no gardening tools lying around! He may be a stay-at-home Viking, but he's still Erik the Red.

Eventually though, Erik warmed up to the idea and reconciled with Leif. Isn't it wonderful when Vikings live in harmony?


You may be wondering why in the world I'm telling you this. Well, mainly it's because these are the cutest Vikings I've seen in a long time. It's also because these Vikings had a lovely time pillaging and sailing in the backyard. And then there's the fact that my blog was looking so lonely without any pictures on it for such a long time.
This was one of our homeschool lessons this Spring.
Homeschooling Vikings.
Who would've guessed?

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Steve the Handsome Viking said...

Hi Honey,

It's a comment from your husband...who thoroughly enjoys your witty writings.

Now for the stuff you really wanted to see...the HTML tags:

This blog is AWESOME and COOOOOL and thoroughly ENJOYABLE.

Love you lots.

- Steve the Handsome Viking.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Damoff said...

Erin, your homeschool pictures always amaze me. What a creative teacher! I love this story, too. I read it to my 22-year-old son, Luke, and he grinned through the whole thing.

Your kids are learning such great lessons and having a blast in the process. Have you ever thought about compiling your great ideas into a book and selling it to other homeschoolers?

8:17 AM  
Blogger Kelley said...

Hey Teskes,

Great pictures and story! We all loved watching Leif--what a cutey!--and his gruff-looking "Dad" pillage and travel the seas. Glad they settled down and found Jesus. Nate and Jack say "We miss you, Ellie (in particular). We wish we could visit you." Awww...maybe next summer?

12:53 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Hey! This is story-in-action! (All this talk of story on Laura's and Charity's and even my blog get me with story on the brain these days.)

Enjoyed the tale and the pictures. Your kids are so CUTE! (And so are you!)

12:14 PM  

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