KENSINGTON — In what could prove to be one of the most important archaeological finds in decades, a farmer near the small town of Kensington has uncovered a 300-pound stone that archaeologists say is a sequel to the famed Kensington Runestone, this time about the knee-slapping adventures of three macho Vikings who find themselves in over their heads trying to raise a baby.
While the original, discovered in 1898, contains a mere nine lines of Old Norse text describing a group of explorers who return from a fishing trip to find ten of their men dead, the sequel, researchers say, is bigger and better in every way.
Its plot picks up immediately after the events of the original and introduces Bjorn the beer bellied, Erik the clumsy, and Ulf the bloodthirsty – three bumbling slackers who’d rather hang out at the pub and arm wrestle than take responsibility and settle down. But it turns out that fate has other plans. When it’s revealed that one of the dead men from Part 1 left behind a six month old baby, our clueless heroes reluctantly agree to raise her and must take a crash course in parenthood, in the process learning more about themselves and discovering that sometimes brawling and pillaging must take a back seat to family.
“This new artifact blows the original out of the water,” said archaeologist John Kuria, “it has everything – a riotous sequence where Bjorn and Erik compete in a burping contest to get the baby to laugh, a rib-tickling running gag where Ulf keeps passing out after smelling the baby’s deer-skin diaper, even a heart-pounding chase scene through a fruit market that ends with a cow exploding.”
Other historians who’ve seen the stone have called it “a solid 10/10”, “a rollicking good time”, and “a triumph of the runestone arts”.
The praise is not unanimous, however.
“It has major second act problems,” said medieval historian Bill Barlow, “though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t choke up a little towards the end when the baby called all three of the Vikings ‘Dada’.”
Archaeologists say the discovery of this new piece may suggest that there are still other stones in the area waiting to be found.
“We can only hope this is just the second installment of a trilogy,” said Minnesota Historical Society research historian Sara Baxter, “think of all the hilarious situations the gang could get into when the baby gets older. I mean, imagine Erik getting frustrated trying to help her with her math homework or Bjorn interrogating her first boyfriend before Viking Prom? The possible hijinks are endless.”