The king's picture she sees on a postage stamp looks pitifully thin, and so Grandmother Gooseberry bakes him a birthday cake and sends it on to the palace in the care of his cook. But the cook's donkey stumbles on the way, and by the time the package has been passed on from one foot-traveler to another--an onion seller, a butcher, a candlemaker, and a chimney-sweep--it ends up muddy, bloody, greasy, sooty, and smelling of onions. Somehow or other these ""nasty"" accumulations prompt the king's soldiers to believe that the package contains a bomb, and when the chain of messengers leads them back to the ""dear old lady,"" they are shocked by her ready admission that ""I made it myself."" Well, ""the end of it was that Grandmother Gooseberry baked a new cake for the king. . . he said it was the best he had tasted in all his life, and he sent a slice each"" to all concerned in the mixup. The sequential mishaps and foolish misunderstanding are trusty if unoriginal ingredients, but the cultivated old-fashioned quality of the story seems particularly synthetic in the pictures.