“Are Swedish people even that interesting?” She asks, disappointedly, without even looking up. I feel chagrined. I realize that in the attempt to educate and encourage her to embrace the culture of her absent biological parent, I have neglected to teach her much about my side of her family tree.

“Yes. They were, at least. Your ancestors on both sides of Mommy’s family were Vikings, not just Netherlandish reindeer herders, real Vikings, except for a few French, one of whom was drawn and quartered by the English for being a Catholic priest. We can trace our family tree all the way back to the time of Eric the Red.”

“He was a bad man, mommy. I want to write about the priest.”

“Minako, Eric the Red was a great man. Those were different times. Civilization wasn’t what it is now. You have to remember that when the missionaries came to the Viking people, they were already integrating with other Europeans, and many of them were converted. That changed them forever, and then there were no more Vikings. They learned about God, and they didn’t go around robbing and pillaging anymore. They repented. That is what Mommy thinks, anyway. The priest came along later on my mother’s side. You can write about him, too. His name was Thomas de Macclesfeld.”

John interjects once again, “The Viking age only lasted a few hundred years, just a brief chapter in the Dark Ages.” He always has to prove he knows more than I do.

“That’s not very long for a history.” She says.