In this Land of Ten Thousand Storytellers, Kevin Kling has got to be one of the very best.

Here's a story from his boyhood.

When you're seven years old and growing up in a Norwegian Lutheran town on Minnesota's Iron Range, you know that there are certain things that you just can't do. One of them is to bother Pastor Lindquist—who is, after all, right up there next to the Big Guy—with theological questions.

But one night at the church supper Kevin finds himself sitting next to the pastor's wife, and he figures that she might be close enough to the Source to ask.

“Mrs. Lindquist,” says Kevin, “If Jesus and Buddha got into a fight, who would win?”

“Well, Jesus would win, of course,” says Mrs. Lindquist.

“Well, if Jesus and Allah got into a fight, who would win?” asks Kevin.

“Jesus would win,” says Mrs. Lindquist.

“Well, if Jesus and Odin got into a fight, who would win?” Kevin asks.

There's a long pause.

Mrs. Lindquist sighs. Finally she says: “Well, Kevin, that would be a very terrible fight.”

She pauses again.

“But Jesus would win.”

People wonder why there are so many pagans in Minnesota.

Maybe it's not so strange after all.