Title: The Swallows
From: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Transcribed By: Malcolm Dickinson ( CLARINET@YALEVM.BITNET )
The film begins. Out of a dense fog trots Arthur, accompanied on two
empty coconut halves by his trusty servant, Patsy. They approach a
castle. Suddenly a guard appears atop a high rampart.
Guard: Halt! Who goes there?
Arthur: It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot.
King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, sovereign of all England!
Guard: Who's the other one?
Arthur: I am, and this is my trusty servant Patsy. We have ridden the length
and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join me in my
court at Camelot. I must speak with your lord and master.
Guard: What, ridden on a horse?
Guard: You're using coconuts!
Guard: You've got two empty 'alves of coconuts and you're bangin' 'em
Arthur: So? We have ridden since the snows of winter covered this land.
Through the kingdom of Mercia, through...
Guard: Where'd you get the coconuts?
Arthur: (somewhat taken aback) We found them.
Guard: Found them? In Mercia? The coconut's tropical!
Arthur: What do you mean?
Guard: This is a temperate zone!
Arthur: The swallow may fly south with the sun, or the house maarten or the
plummer may seek warmer climes in winter, but these are not strangers
to our land!
Guard: Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?
Arthur: Not at all! They could be carried.
Guard: (indcredulous) What, a swallow, carrying a coconut?
Arthur: It could grip it by the husk!
Guard: It's not a question of where 'e grips it! It's a simple question of
weight ratios! A five-ounce bird could *not* carry a one-pound
Well it doesn't matter! Will you go and tell your master that Arthur
from the court of Camelot is here!
Guard: Listen. In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to
beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?
Guard: (patiently) Am I right.
Arthur: I'm not interested!
( A second guard appears on the rampart. )
G2: It could be carried by an African swallow!
G1: Oh, yeah, an African swallow, maybe, but not a European swallow, that's
G2: Oh, yeah, I agree with that.
Arthur: (extremely exasperated) Will you ask your master if he wants to join
my court at Camelot!!
G1: But then of course, African swallows are non-migratory.
G2: Oh yeah...
(Arthur and Patsy give up and trot away)
G1: So they couldn't bring a coconut back anyway.
G2: Wait a minute! Supposing *two* swallows carried it together!
G1: Nooo..... They'd have to have it on a line...
G2: Well, simple! They'd just use a strand of creeper!
G1: What, held under the dorsal guiding feathers?
G2: Well, why not?
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