Author: Durroh F Kurniati Editor: Aan Wulandari Illustrator: Translator: Dameria Damayanti Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: Riau

One day, the palace kitchen was in a great mess. The food in the pan spilled out and the trash bin was on the table. There was flour everywhere and the sauce was all over the wall.

“My goodness,” said one servant.

Several servants, both male and female, rushed into the kitchen. Their faces were full of dread seeing the condition of the kitchen. The nine princesses looked messy. The splashed ketchup was on their faces and there was flour on their hair. They laughed gleefully then fled from the kitchen before finally bathed themselves in a nearby lake.

It had always been like that every day. There was no day without the nine princesses creating havoc and overwhelming all the servants. From writing off the palace wall, picking up flowers in the garden, to wetting the hall floor and playing slide on it.

“They are so mischievous!” complained one of the servants while scrubbing the kitchen’s wall.

“Had they not the daughters of the King, I must already have spanked them one by one!” grumbled another servant while sweeping the scattered flour and trashes off the floor.

“If only those nine had a decent personality like their youngest, we would have been able to work peacefully,” replied one of the male servants while busily mopping the floor.

Yes. The nine naughty princesses had a kind-hearted youngest sister. Her name was Princess Kuning. The King named his daughters with colors so he could recognize them easily. His other daughters were Princess Jambon (pink), Princess Hijau (green), Princess Biru (blue), Princess Nila (indigo), Princess Kelabu (grey), Princess Oranye (orange), Princess  Merah Merona (blushing red), and Princess Ungu (purple).

Princess Jambon, the eldest, was the naughtiest. She was the one who always led her younger sisters to do mischievous acts around the palace.

They grew into spoiled brats because they had no mother. Queen Werana passed away after giving birth to Princess Kuning. And as for the King, he often left the palace to do his royal affairs. The princesses were taken care of by the palace nannies. However, their behaviors became uncontrollable. They were only obedient when the father was at the palace.

One day, Princess Kuning helped the servant cleaning up the palace garden. She was sweeping the falling dry leaves and carefully pilling it up when suddenly her nine older sisters passed by and kicked it off. They burst out laughing while mocking their little sister.

“Look, we have a new servant!”

Princess Kuning remained silent.  She knew there was no use in fighting her sisters.

One day, the King bid his daughters farewell before traveling to a very far away place. He also asked each princess what gift they wanted to have.

“I want a silk dress,” Princess Jambon said.

“I want a golden bracelet,” said Princess Merah Merona.

All the nine princesses competed mentioning the gifts they wanted.

“What about you, Kuning?” asked the King to Princess Kuning who had not said anything yet.

“I just want you to come back home safely,” she replied.

The King was so happy hearing his youngest daughter’s words. He caressed Princess Kuning’s hair before departed. Seeing this, her older sisters became more jealous than before.

A few days later, the King returned home and brought the gifts for his ten daughters.

“Kuning, I’m so sorry. It was so hard to find a yellow diamond necklace. Here is a green stone necklace for you,” the King said.

“Thank you, Father. It is all right. Having you come back here safely and healthily is enough for me,” replied Princess Kuning. She then wore the necklace.

One day, Princess Hijau saw Princess Kuning’s beautiful necklace. She envied her little sister. She wanted to have that necklace, too. She then provoked her other sisters to help her taking the necklace from Princess Kuning.

“Hey, give me back my necklace. You stole it from me,” shouted Princess Hijau when the King was not around.

“This necklace is mine. Father gave it to me,” said Princess Kuning.

“You must have stolen it from his room,” shouted Princess Kelabu.

So they scrambled to take the necklace. Princess Kuning tried hard to keep the necklace her father had gifted her. Unfortunately, Princess Jambon pushed her so hard that she fell and her head hit a stone.  There was blood on Princess Kuning’s head.

“Oh, no!” shouted Princess Nila, panicked seeing her little sister laid stiff as a log.

“What are we going to do now?” asked Princess Biru horridly.

All the nine princesses were in great fear. They decided to bury their little sister’s body near the lake and promised to keep it secret from their father.

The day finally came when the King returned to the palace and wondered where his beloved daughter was. He commanded all the palace guards to search for his daughter in all over the country. Sadly, after months of search, they still could not find Princess Kuning.  The King was very sad.

Later, to cheer himself up, the King took a stroll to the palace lake. There, he discovered a new flower growing out of the burial place of Princess Kuning.  The flower was yellowish white. Its stem looked like a cloak and its rounded leaves looked like diamond stones. It was a very fragrant flower. This flower reminded the King of his daughter.

“I will name this flower Kemuning,” whispered the King to himself.

It turns out that Kemuning flower has so many benefits. Its stem can be used as a beautiful container while its flower can scent the hair. Moreover, its bark can be used as powder. Apparently, although Princess Kuning had passed away, her goodness lasts forever.

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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