Finally she said:
"Of course there will be a grand feast at the Royal Palace on Ozma's birthday, and all our friends will be present. So I suggest that you make a fine big birthday cake of Ozma, and surround it with candles."
"Oh, just a CAKE!" exclaimed Dorothy, in disappointment.
"Nothing is nicer for a birthday," said the Sorceress.
"How many candles should there be on the cake?" asked the girl.
"Just a row of them," replied Glinda, "for no one knows how old Ozma is, although she appears to us to be just a young girl--as fresh and fair as if she had lived but a few years."
"A cake doesn't seem like much of a present," Dorothy asserted.
"Make it a surprise cake," suggested the Sorceress. "Don't you remember the four and twenty blackbirds that were baked in a pie? Well, you need not use live blackbirds in your cake, but you could have some surprise of a different sort."
"Like what?" questioned Dorothy, eagerly.
"If I told you, it wouldn't be YOUR present to Ozma, but MINE," answered the Sorceress, with a smile. "Think it over, my dear, and I am sure you can originate a surprise that will add greatly to the joy and merriment of Ozma's birthday banquet."
Dorothy thanked her friend and entered the Red Wagon and told the Sawhorse to take her back home to the palace in the Emerald City.
On the way she thought the matter over seriously of making a surprise birthday cake and finally decided what to do.
As soon as she reached home, she went to the Wizard of Oz, who had a room fitted up in one of the high towers of the palace, where he studied magic so as to be able to perform such wizardry as Ozma commanded him to do for the welfare of her subjects.
The Wizard and Dorothy were firm friends and had enjoyed many strange adventures together. He was a little man with a bald head and sharp eyes and a round, jolly face, and because he was neither haughty nor proud he had become a great favorite with the Oz people.
"Wizard," said Dorothy, "I want you to help me fix up a present for Ozma's birthday."
"I'll be glad to do anything for you and for Ozma," he answered. "What's on your mind, Dorothy?"
"I'm going to make a great cake, with frosting and candles, and all that, you know."
"Very good," said the Wizard.
"In the center of this cake I'm going to leave a hollow place, with just a roof of the frosting over it," continued the girl.
"Very good," repeated the Wizard, nodding his bald head.
"In that hollow place," said Dorothy, "I want to hide a lot of monkeys about three inches high, and after the cake is placed on the banquet table, I want the monkeys to break through the frosting and dance around on the table-cloth. Then, I want each monkey to cut out a piece of cake and hand it to a guest."
"Mercy me!" cried the little Wizard, as he chuckled with laughter. "Is that ALL you want, Dorothy?"
"Almost," said she. "Can you think of anything more the little monkeys can do, Wizard?"
"Not just now," he replied. "But where will you get such tiny monkeys?"
"That's where you're to help me," said Dorothy. "In some of those wild forests in the Gillikin Country are lots of monkeys."
"Big ones," said the Wizard.
"Well, you and I will go there, and we'll get some of the big monkeys, and you will make them small--just three inches high--by means of your magic, and we'll put the little monkeys all in a basket and bring them home with us. Then you'll train them to dance--up here in your room, where no one can see them--and on Ozma's birthday we'll put 'em into the cake and they'll know by that time just what to do."
The Wizard looked at Dorothy with admiring approval, and chuckled again.
"That's really clever, my dear," he said, "and I see no reason why we can't do it, just the way you say, if only we can get the wild monkeys to agree to it."
"Do you think they'll object?" asked the girl.
"Yes; but perhaps we can argue them into it. Anyhow it's worth trying, and I'll help you if you'll agree to let this Surprise Cake be a present to Ozma from you and me together.