The Tale of Sir Patrick the Knight (Or How Coconuts Came to England)

The quest for the Holy Grail may be over, but have you ever wondered about the fate of the knight Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film? As it turns out, his real name is not Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film. It is Sir Patrick. And while King Arthur and his other knights were gallivanting off to claim glory on their quest for the Holy Grail, Sir Patrick was a part of an entirely different story.

Ever since his youth, Sir Patrick had an interest in numbers, and the logic behind them. For days, he would observe the migrations of swallows, and compare their numbers to the years prior. It was in this manner that the first coconut was found in England.

One day, Sir Patrick was observing the airspeed velocities of the European swallows (you thought I was going to say African swallows, didn't you? Don't be silly, African swallows are non-migrational.) when he noticed a coconut flying through the air. Or, it looked like it was flying through the air. In actuality, it was being carried by a very determined swallow. Or two. But let's not get into the details. Sir Patrick could not see that the coconut was, in fact, carried by a swallow at all, until the swallow let go of the coconut, and it fell and hit him on the head.


After his bump to the head, which must have moved some of his brain cells around, Sir Patrick decided that he wanted to become a knight. So, he set off to Camelot in his quest to become one. He brought the coconut with him, and along the way to Camelot, found a poor young lad that was down on his luck. The young lad agreed to be his bag-carrier to Camelot, as it was awfully far away, in exchange for the ripe coconut.

Along the way to Camelot, the young lad got bored of just walking, and suggested to Sir Patrick that he could be his horse, due to the fact that when the coconut halves were clashed together, a sound was produced much like a horse's footsteps. Sir Patrick agreed, and they rode off to Camelot.

When they arrived, King Arthur thought that it was such a marvelous thing to have a horse using just two halves of a coconut, that he knighted Sir Patrick at once. He then commissioned Sir Patrick to find more of these coconuts, so each of his knights could have a horse as well. And so, Sir Patrick rode off, intent upon finding the requested coconuts, and keeping a sharp eye out for sparrows.

One day, Sir Patrick happened upon a village. It was a quaint little village, with terra cotta pots, and woven grass mats in each of the houses as flooring. Sir Patrick dismounted, and made his way into town. It was strangely deserted outside, so he went inside a house with a sign that read 'Shoppe', to ask what was going on, and to perhaps see if they had any coconuts.

The clerk of this 'Shoppe' was a very thin, dirty looking man, who kept muttering to himself as he polished something with a rag.

"I tell ya, it's these corn prices. I feel more oppressed every day out here! And do they listen, oh no. No one listens to a poor old bloke like me…" He rambled on, seeming to not have noticed the rather loud clanging of Sir Patrick's armor. Sir Patrick looked around, trying to gauge whether it was worth it to bring this man's attention to him or not. He was shocked by what he saw.

"Good Sir!" Sir Patrick exclaimed, "Why is the coconut on the shelf?" The man stopped cleaning with his rag just long enough to look up and scrutinize Sir Patrick, then went back to cleaning.

"No reason." He replied, shrugging. Sir Patrick was baffled. There, on the shelf, was what he had been sent by King Arthur himself to find. But how had it gotten there?

"But surely there must be one!" Sir Patrick exclaimed, "How did you get it there? Where did it come from?"

The man slowly looked up at the shelf, then to the flustered Sir Patrick.

"No reason." he shrugged, and went back to his cleaning.

"Do you have more of them?" Sir Patrick asked, trying frantically to figure out the probability for such an event as this occurring.

The shopkeep glanced back up at him, before shrugging.


Sir Patrick was frazzled.

"What do you mean, there's more of them here?" Sir Patrick shook his head. "It's not possible, not probable! It just. Doesn't. Exist!"

The shopkeep shrugged again, sighing.

"We got a whole cart of 'em out back."

Sir Patrick's eye began to twitch.

"You, sir, are a liar! Now in the name of King Arthur, tell me. WHY IS THE COCONUT ON THE SHELF?" Sir Patrick yelled, steam coming out of his ears.

The shopkeep looked up at him, not moving for a long time, before shrugging and slouching back to his work.

"No reason."

"Auggghhh!" This was enough for Sir Patrick. It defied all the laws of probability and logic. He stormed out of the shop, and rode away from the town, never to return.

A few days later, he got a message from King Arthur, via carrier swallow. In it, King Arthur commended him for his excellent work in procuring the requested coconuts, 49 of them in total, for him and his court. The message said that a whole cartful of coconuts had arrived at Camelot, and the shopkeeper that brought them had credited Sir Patrick with finding and sending them to him.

Sir Patrick was beyond frazzled. 49 coconuts? He couldn't believe it! It just wasn't probable! That would mean that there were already 50 coconuts in England! Just then, another messenger swallow swooped down and delivered a message. It read:

'Just 48 now. Sir Lancelot accidentally (well, he says it was an accident) catapulted one of the coconuts into France. We hope the French aren't too mad. Signed, King Arthur.'

Sir Patrick stared at the message. Oh, the French would be mad alright. Then his eye began to twitch. Now there were only 49 coconuts in England. And one of them was his. The probability of having even one coconut in England was already astronomical. Whatever astronomical meant.

He just couldn't take this anymore! All the errors in logic and probability that seemed to come with just being around King Arthur. He left the knights before their journey to seek the Holy Grail, and spent his life happily counting the migrating sparrows.

And if he ever saw a coconut again, he swore he would go insane.


The End.