(With apologies to Monty Python – or with gratitude.)
Scene – Byzantium, 4th Century AD.
Enter Attenbrus to the presence of the Emperor Constantine.
ATTENBRUS: Hail mighty Constantine.
CONSTANTINE: (lounging on a bench eating grapes) How goes the Imperial menagerie?
ATTENBRUS: That’s the reason for my visit, Mighty Emperor. I’m afraid that Tiddles is off his food.
CONSTANTINE: What? My favourite lion? That will never do. What have you done?
ATTENBRUS: Well I asked Herriotus to look at him but he says it’s the change of diet. Ever since your Highness stopped persecuting Christians, sorry, adopted the one true faith, Tiddles has been refusing to eat.
CONSTANTINE: (sitting upright) Let me get this straight. Tiddles won’t eat because he is no longer being fed Holy Martyrs.
ATTENBRUS:(whispering) I’m afraid so, Majesty. It’s the odour of sanctity you see. He’s developed an addiction.
CONSTANTINE: Well I can’t go around changing the future of my Empire just for the sake of Tiddles’ faddy eating. Scribe!
Enter Radarius, Chief Administrator.
RADARIUS: Yes, Sire, there is another group of holy men we can substitute. They call themselves Druids. They’re in a frozen accursed island called Albion. At the moment they are holed up on another island which they call Mona.
CONSTANTINE: Were you listening in, Radarius?
RADARIUS: No, Sir, I just seem to always know the answers before my superiors, that’s my function in this play. We do have two druids in the cells at the moment. Your highness was hoping to convert them but…
CONSTANTINE: Good. Right – Attenbrus, organise a circus. We’ll try Tiddles on Druid and failing that we’ll have to try Jews, there are a lot of them around.
NARRATOR (armed with clipboard) And that, gentles, is the real reason that what had been the Roman Empire turned to Christianity and began persecuting other religions – Tiddles was off his food.
PLEASE NOTE – this is humour. It is not intended to cause offence to anyone or belittle any religion.