Leader: Spurtles at the ready for exotic visitors

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THEY’RE round, look well fed, and have those appealing black-shadowed eyes – and they’re here! What a wonderful gift their home country has sent us.

Considering there are so few of them, we are deeply honoured and blessed.

We must look after them well. Will the sudden onset of cold and snow damage their health? We don’t think so. Their home country was beset by the lowest temperatures and deepest snowfalls for a generation last year and if you look at them now, particularly the leader of the delegation, you can see they seem to have survived that big freeze rather well.

Will they breed? We are just not sure. Some of them breed a lot, but again, there are no reports of the leader having produced progeny. But never fear, some of our best scientists and doctors will be monitoring him round the clock and if there is any sign that he has come into season, ideal conditions for procreation will be provided.

Diet must play a part, surely? The leader reportedly eats only porridge, made from the finest organic oatmeal sprinkled with a little heather honey. And there is the occasional visit to the best curry restaurant. Porridge and curry? Ssh, it’s time for the welcome. Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, welcome to the People’s Republic of China.