SOMETIMES you think you’ve seen and heard it all at FMQs. You get jaded. You get cynical. You get used to being hosed in nonsense for 45 minutes each week. And then along comes a moment so unexpected it reminds you it’s not like that at all. It’s actually so much worse.

There was a sombre start, with a minute’s silence in memory of Grenfell. Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh then nodded to the VIP gallery to welcome the latest visiting hardman.

“Andriy Parubiy, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, the Parliament of the Ukraine,” he said.

MSPs looked up cursorily at the delegation in headphones next to the translator’s box.

Tory leader Ruth Davidson started moaning ritually about lags with tags. The SNP was planning “to release more criminals back into communities”, she said, and didn’t care if the blighters cut off their curfew anklets.

Nicola Sturgeon said she was open to changing her Offenders Bill, casually dropping in the first of many digs at the minimal scrutiny of devolved issues in the Commons.

“I certainly hope that the parliamentary authorities allow more than 15 minutes debate for those important issues,” she quipped.

So far, so standard. The next 40 minutes stretched agonisingly over the horizon.

And then Richard Leonard showed us just what he’s made of. It was extraordinary. It was a revelation. It was truly the Scottish Labour leader at the peak of his powers

“Can the First Minister give us another word for a hummingbird’s beak?” he asked.

Now, you’re probably thinking I just made that up. But no. I’m a journalist not a surrealist.

“Eh, not immediately, no,” replied the First Minister warily, groping for the security alarm under her desk.

The chamber fell silent. The tension crackled. The Ukrainian delegation stirred nervously. Hearts went out to the bloke in the translator’s box tasked with conveying that one to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada.

‘Comrade Sturgeon, please to describe the mouth of a tiny chicken,’ he whimpered.

Mr Leonard said the FM’s reply was “unfortunate” as the fabled “hummingbird’s beak question” was one of the government’s standardised test posers for five-year-olds.

“Little wonder that Scotland’s teachers have told me how young and confident children are crushed by these tests,” he said, miming the crushing of a five-year-old in a car compactor.

“There have been reports of children being driven to tears!” he went on. “Tears!”

One educational charity had even likened the tests to a traumatic “adverse childhood experience”, he said, conjuring up the image of a hummingbird silhouette slashing at a shower curtain with its hooter.

“I don’t know what Richard Leonard was doing yesterday,” sneered Ms Sturgeon in a tone strongly suggesting she thought it involved concussion.

“But I talked to a range of primary school children, including some five-year-olds. I did not meet any who were in tears or see any who looked crushed. I saw confident, bright and enthusiastic young people.”

Beaky Leonard reckoned that sounded thoroughly improbable. Standardised tests were flawed and had to stop, he said.

“FM, will you stop standardised testing for five-year-olds now and put pupils first?”

Ms Sturgeon said she would always listen to feedback from teachers - but not Labour.

As for the answer to Mr Leonard’s question? He managed to cock even that up.

It later emerged the test is actually a multiple choice that runs: “The hummingbird has a thin beak. What is another word for beak?”

Kids, crushed and otherwise, are then asked to choose between skin, bill and body.

Mr Leonard’s choices, meanwhile, appear destined to stay ridicule, failure and obscurity.