2 min read




Mist. Several seconds of it swirling about. silence possibly, atmospheric music. SUPERIMPOSE “England AD 787”. After a few more seconds we hear hoofbeats in the distance. They come slowly closer. Then out of the mist comes KING ARTHUR followed by a SERVANT who is banging two half coconuts together. ARTHUR raises his hand.

ARTHUR: Whoa there!

SERVANT makes noises of horses halting, with a flourish. ARTHUR peers through the mist. CUT TO shot from over his shoulder: castle (e.g. Bodium) rising out of the mist. On the castle battlements a SOLDIER is dimly seen. He peers down.

SOLDIER: Halt! Who goes there?

ARTHUR: It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot. King of all Britons, defeater of the Saxons, sovereign of all England!

Arthur and Patsy


SOLDIER: Pull the other one!

ARTHUR: I am… And this my trusty servant, Patsy. We have ridden the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join our court at Camelot.. I must speak with your lord and master.

SOLDIER: What? Ridden on a horse?


SOLDIER: You’re using coconuts!

ARTHUR: …What?

SOLDIER: You’ve got two empty halves of coconuts and you’re banging them together.

ARTHUR (Scornfully): So? We have ridden since the snows of winter covered this land, through the kingdom of Mercea.

SOLDIER: Where did you get the coconuts?

ARTHUR: Through … We found them.

SOLDIER: Found them? In Mercea. The coconut’s tropical!

ARTHUR: What do you mean?

SOLDIER: Well, this is a temperate zone.

ARTHUR: The swallow may fly south with the sun, or the house martin or the plover seek warmer hot lands in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land.

SOLDIER: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

ARTHUR: Not at all. They could be carried.

SOLDIER: What? A swallow carrying a coconut?

ARTHUR: Why not?

SOLDIER: I’ll tell you why not … because a swallow is about eight inches long and weighs five ounces, and you’d be lucky to find a coconut under a pound.

ARTHUR: It could grip it by the husk …

SOLDIER: It’s not a question of where he grips it, It’s a simple matter of weight - ratios … A five-ounce bird could not hold a one pound coconut.

ARTHUR: Well, it doesn’t matter. Go and tell your master that Arthur from the Court of Camelot is here.

A Slight pause. Swirling mist. Silence.

SOLDIER: Look! To maintain air speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings four hundred and ninety three times every second. right?

ARTHUR (irritated): Please!

SOLDIER: Am I right?

ARTHUR: I’m not interested.

SECOND SOLDIER (who has loomed up on the battlements): It could be carried by an African swallow!

FIRST SOLDIER: Oh yes! An African swallow maybe … but not a European swallow. That’s my point.

SECOND SOLDIER: Oh yes, I agree there …

ARTHUR (losing patience): Will you ask your master if he wants to join the Knights of Camelot?!

FIRST SOLDIER: But then of course African swallows are non-migratory.


ARTHUR raises his eyes heavenwards and nods to PATSY. They turn and go off into the mist.

FIRST SOLDIER: So they wouldn’t be able to bring a coconut back anyway.

SECOND SOLDIER: Wait a minute! Suppose two swallows carried it together?

FIRST SOLDIER: No, they’d have to have it on a line.

Stillness. Silence again.