[The scene is a snowy hill.
Kids: (singing) We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas...
Stan: Hey! Wait a minute!
Stan: Aren't you Jewish, Kyle?
Kyle: Yeah, I think so.
Stan: Dude, Jewish people don't celebrate Christmas!
Stan: You're supposed to sing Hanukkah songs!
Kyle: (pauses... then sings)
Dreidel dreidel dreidel,
I made you out of clay,
Dreidel dreidel dreidel...
Stan: That's a stupid song.
Cartman: Yeah, Hanukkah sucks.
Kyle: Don't you oppress me, fat boy.
[Beowulf, king of the Geats for the last fifty years, walks into frame.]
Kyle: What the--
Stan: It's Beowulf! King of the Geats for the last fifty years!
Cartman: What are you doing in
Beowulf: I risked my life often when I was young. Now I am old, but as king of the
people I shall pursue this fight for the glory of winning, if the evil one will
only abandon his earth-fort and face me in the open.
Stan: You mean snow fort?
Kyle: Dude, he's Beowulf. He means earth-fort.
Cartman: We'll take you to the snow fort, Beowulf.
[Cartman exits, and Beowulf follows.]
Stan: What about Christmas?
Kyle: Pagans don't do Christmas.
[Kyle follows after Cartman and Beowulf. Stan chases after them.]
Stan: What about Hanukkah? Do Pagans do Hanukkah?
[Stan and Kenny exit.]
[The scene moves to
Stan: Here we are, Beowulf. What are you looking for?
Beowulf: This fight is not yours, nor is it up to any man except me to measure his
strength against the monster or to prove his worth. I shall win the gold by my
courage, or else mortal combat, doom of battle, will bear your lord away.
[Pouring forth in a hot battle-fume, the breath of a monster bursts from the snow fort. Beowulf the warrior lifts his shield: the outlandish thing writhes and convulses. Roused to fury, each antagonist strikes terror in the other. Unyielding, the lord of his people looms by his tall shield, sure of his ground, while the serpent loops and unleashes itself. Swaddled in flames, it comes gliding and flexing and racing toward its fate.]
Kids: Go Serpent!
[Beowulf looks at them.]
Kids: Uh, go Beowulf!
[The king of Geats raises his hand and strikes hard at the enameled scales, but scarcely cuts through: the blade flashes and slashes yet the blow is far less powerful than the hard-pressed king has need of at that moment. The serpent spasms and spouts deadly flames that engulf Kenny.]
Kenny: (in a muffled voice) Oh, no!
[Kenny's body quickly turns to black ash.]
Kyle: Oh my god! They killed Kenny!
[Kenny's black ash body dissolves into a heap. Beowulf throws his whole strength behind a sword stroke and connects with the skull. And Naegling snaps. Beowulf's ancient iron-gray sword lets him down in the fight.]
Stan: I don't know what to do, dude.
Cartman: I say we run for our lives to the safety of the wood!
[The bane of that people, the fire-breathing dragon, is mad to attack. When a chance comes, he catches the hero in a rush of flame and clamps sharp fangs into his neck. Beowulf's body runs wet with his life-blood: it comes welling out.]
Cartman: The safety of the wood! The safety of the wood!
Kyle: His life-blood's welling out! His life-blood's welling out!
Stan: Wait, wait just a second. Now we've got to think here. Now let's see. What
would Brian Boitano do?
Cartman: Yeah. What would Brian Boitano do?
[With fanfare--ta dah!--Brian Boitano skates into view.]
Brian: Did someone say my name?
Cartman: Brian Boitano!
Brian: What's going on, kids?
Stan: Okay, Brian? What would you do if an enlightened pagan king from an eighth
century Old English epic appeared in the un-aired pilot of an often
controversial modern cartoon series and got his ass kicked by a booty-
Cartman: Booty hoarding?
Brian: Kids... this is not his first fight against preternatural evil. Beowulf has twice
before saved his people by killing Grendel and that dreadful monster's mother,
but he also fought those fights for glory and revenge. This time Beowulf
fights only because he wants to save his people. His death is noble and
courageous -- they just don't make 'em like Beowulf annymore. Be brave, boys, be brave!
[As Brian skates away, the blades from his skates slash deep into the serpent's belly. Serpent blood spurts, it stains the snow.]
[The flames from the serpent grow weaker. Beowulf gathers his strength and draws a stabbing knife he carries on his belt, sharpened for battle. He sticks it deep in the dragon's flank. Beowulf deals it a deadly wound. They had killed the enemy, but Beowulf discovers deadly poison suppurating inside him. Realizing his state, he struggles to a seat by the snow fort.]
Stan: *whew* That sucked.
Kyle: Dude, that line there definitely doesn't work. But it does have the strong
break you always need: add some alliterated accented words.
Stan: Um... *sigh* That surely sucked?
[Beowulf manages to speak in spite of deadly wounds.]
Beowulf: To the everlasting Lord of all, to the King of Glory, I give thanks.
Stan: (to Kyle) I thought you said he was a Pagan.
Cartman: Maybe we can do Christmas after all.
Kyle: Hey man, if you're Jewish you get presents for eight days.
Stan: Wow, really? Count me in.
Cartman: Yeah, I'll be a Jew too.
Kids: (singing) Dreidel dreidel dreidel
I made you out of clay
Dreidel dreidel dreidel
With dreidel I will play!
* This piece is mostly a mashup of sorts. It includes quotes from Seamus Heaney's translation of _Beowulf_. It also includes quotes from _The Spirit of Christmas_, an early South Park episode that has never aired. A script of _The Spirit of Christmas_, and video downloads of the animated short, can be found here: http://www.killfile.org/soxmas/ . This piece also makes use of concepts found in the Norton Anthology introduction to _Beowulf_.