FLYING SHEEP/ FRENCH LECTURE ON SHEEP-AIRCRAFT

 

A man appears on the top of a sand dune some way away. He looks in direction of camera and runs towards it. He disappears on top of a closer dune and continues towards camera disappearing again into a dip. This time while he is out of sight, the sound of him running is the sound of someone running along a prison corridor, followed by a big door opening and closing. He appears again only two sand dunes away. Still running towards camera he disappears again from sight. This time there is a loud metallic series of sounds followed by a pig squealing. He appears over the nearest dune and runs up to camera.
 
It's Man (M.P.): It's...
 
Voice Over: Monty Python's Flying Circus.
 
These words are followed by various strange images, possibly connected with the stretching of owls, and proceeding from a bizarre American immigrant's brain. At the end of this expensive therapy:
 
CAPTION: 'PART 2'
 
CAPTION: 'SHEEP'
 
A small set of a gate in the country overlooking a field. A real rustic in smock and floppy hat is leaning on the gate. A city gent on holiday appears behind him. Off-screen baa-ing noises throughout.
 City Gent and Rustic
City Gent (T.J): Good afternoon.
 
Yokel (G.C.): A'rnoon.
 
City Gent: A lovely day isn't it.
 
Yokel: Ar, 'tis that.
 
City Gent: You here on holiday or...?
 
Yokel: Nope, I live 'ere.
 
City Gent: Oh, jolly good too. (surveys field; he looks puzzled) I say, those are sheep aren't they?
 
Yokel: Ar.
 
City: Gent: Yes, yes of course, I thought so...only...er why are they up in the trees?
 
Yokel:
A fair question and one that in recent weeks has been much on my mind. It's my considered opinion that they're nesting.
 
City Gent: Nesting?
 
Yokel: Ar.
 
City Gent: Like birds?
 
Yokel: Ar. Exactly. Birds is the key to the whole problem. It's my belief that these sheep are laborin' under the misapprehension that they're birds. Observe their behaviour. Take for a start the sheep’s' tendency to 'op about the field on their back legs. (off-screen baa-ing) Now witness their attempts to fly from tree to tree. Notice that they do not so much fly as...plummet. (sound of sheep plummeting) Observe for example that ewe in that oak tree. She is clearly trying to teach her lamb to fly. (baaaaaa...thump) Talk about the blind leading the blind.
 
City Gent: But why do they think they're birds?
 
Yokel: Another fair question. One thing is for sure; a sheep is not a creature of the air. They have enormous difficulty in the comparatively simple act of perchin'. (crash) As you see. As for flight, its body is totally unadapted to the problems of aviation. Trouble is, sheep are very dim. Once they get an idea in their heads, there's no shifting it.
 
City Gent: But where did they get the idea from?
 
Yokel: From Harold. He's that sheep there over under the elm. He's that most dangerous of animals, a clever sheep. He's the ring-leader. He has realized that a sheep's life consists of standing around for a few months and then being eaten. And that's a depressing prospect for an ambitious sheep. He's patently hit on the idea of escape.
 
City Gent: Well why don't you just get rid of Harold?
 
Yokel: Because of the enormous commercial possibilities should he succeed.
 
Voice Over (E.I): And what exactly are the commercial possibilities of ovine aviation?
 
Two Frenchmen stand in front of a diagram of a sheep adapted for flying. They speak rapidly in French, much of it pseudo.

First Frenchman (J.C.): Bonsoir - ici nous avons les diagrammes modernes d'un mouton anglo-français ... maintenant ... baa-aa, baa-aa... nous avons, dans la tête, le cabin. Ici, on se trouve le petit capitaine Anglais, Monsieur Trubshawe.
 
Second Frenchman (M.P.): Vive Brian, wherever you are.
 
First Frenchman: D'accord, d'accord. Maintenant, je vous présente mon collègue, le pouf célèbre, Jean-Brian Zatapathique.
 
Transfers his moustache to Second Frenchman
 
Second Frenchman: Maintenant, le mouton ... le landing ... les wheels, bon.
 
Opens diagram to show wheels on sheep's legs.
 
First Frenchman: Bon, les wheels, ici.
 
Second Frenchman: C'est formidable, n'est ce pas ... (unintelligibly indicates motor at rear of sheep)
 
First Frenchman: Les voyageurs ... les bagages ... ils sont ... ici!
 
Triumphantly opens the rest of the diagram to reveal the whole brilliant arrangement. They run round flapping their arms and baa-ing. Cut to Pepperpots in supermarket with off-screen interviewer.

 
First Pepperpot (G.C.): Oh yes, we get a lot of French people round here.
 
Second Pepperpot (T.J.):
Ooh Yes.
 
Third Pepperpot (M.P.): All over yes.
 
Host: (off) And how do you get on with these French people?
 
First Pepperpot: Oh very well.
 
Fourth Pepperpot (J.C.): So do I.
 
Third Pepperpot: Me too.

First Pepperpot: Oh yes I like them. I mean, they think well don't they? I mean, be fair - Pascal.
 
Second Pepperpot:
Blaise Pascal.
 
Third Pepperpot: Jean-Paul Sartre.
  
First Pepperpot: Yes, Voltaire.
 
Second Pepperpot: Ooh! - René Descartes.
  
Animation: René Descartes is sitting thinking. Bubbles come from his head with 'thinks'. Suddenly he looks happy. In thought bubble appears 'I THINK THEREFORE I AM'. A large hand comes into the picture with a pin and pricks the thought bubble. It deflates and disappears. After a second René disappears too.

 

 

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