Author: S. Rahmah Saadi Editor: Tethy Ezokanzo Illustrator: Gilang Permadi Translator: Selviya Hanna Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: Maluku Utara

King Binaut had just ascended the throne succeeding his late-father. However, he ruled the kingdom with an iron hand.

One day, King Binaut decided to build a magnificent palace.

“O my people, let us build a magnificent palace that our kingdom is known to the whole world,” said King Binaut aloud in the presence of his people.

“All of you must work hard! Don’t be lazy, or you will find yourselves in jail for life,” threatened the Patih. He had to follow the will of the King Binaut for fear of being dismissed.

Hearing this, the people got so frightened. They were forced to obey the command of the King. They worked day and night. Some of them transported sand from the river; some others hauled selected teak wood and made carvings/engravings from gold to adorn the palace. They worked with no pay and, undoubtedly, lived miserably. Some of them even starved and died.

None was able to outface the cruelty of King Binaut. The Queen and two siblings of King Binaut were reportedly drowned in the ocean. Prince Arif is the eldest brother of King Binaut and Princess Nuri is the younger sister of King Binaut.

A palace guard named Bijak did not buy into the news. He investigated the dungeon. To his astonishment, he found the Queen, Prince Arif and Princess Nuri there. They looked thin and pale.

“Binaut threw us into jail,” said Princess Nuri, quietly.

“Please help us to get out of here,” the Queen pleaded.

“My pleasure, Your Majesty. I will do my best,” Bijak gave his promise.

Bijak immediately informed this to all of his friends.

“Huh! King Binaut lied to all of us. He has taken Prince Arif’s throne,” a friend of Bijak remarked with fury.

“How could he imprison her own mother, brother and sister?” said another friend.

Bijak and his friends quit their job in the palace. They went to the forest to plan the rescue of the Queen.

On the eve of the d-day, they went into the palace, wearing again their royal uniforms. Bijak brought along a bundle of cloth on his back.

Late in the night, King Binaut was fast asleep. Bijak and his friends walked down the hallways of the palace’s basement. Bijak soon opened the bundle of cloth containing some palace uniforms. The Queen, Prince Arif and Princess Nuri put on the uniform immediately. They managed to get out of the jail. No one had suspicion on their disguises.

They then hid in the woods, where the Queen thanked Bijak and his friends.

“Your Highness, please give us your blessing to attack the palace,” said Bijak. He and his men had prepared for a long time to attack King Binaut.

“I do appreciate your good intention, my people. But I do mind. Look at the people who have become the victims of my son, “said the Queen.

After the Queen said so, a volcano erupted all of sudden. Thundering voice sounded far-reaching. Ashes and flames soared into the sky. People were panicked. Hot lava flowed to all around the country.

King Binaut startled from his sleep. The lava flowed into his magnificent palace. The palace was recently completed by the sweat of his suffering people.

“Patih! Help me!” cried King Binaut, panicked.

King Binaut and his patih ran fearfully to seek protection. Strangely, the hot lava seemed as if it chased King Binaut wherever he ran.

At the moment, he realized that God was punishing him.

“My Lord, please forgive your humble servant. I’m so sorry,” King Binaut cried.

Then he remembered his mother who loved him since he was a child.

“Mother, please, forgive your son!” cried King Binaut, trying to climb to the palace roof.

“I have no strength to endure this suffering! I promise I won’t betray you, mother, brother Arif, and sister Nuri anymore!” cried King Binaut regretfully.

But his regret had no use anymore. The palace of King Binaut began to sink by the hot lava.

“I promise I will not do it again!” cried King Binaut. He kept on crying and wailing. After a long time, the cries began to disappear. King Binaut died at last.

When it rained the next day, his body was drifted by the water to the beach. As the cold lava accumulated, a new land was formed, jutting into the sea. People said, the sound of crying was oftenly heard there. Finally, the place was called Tanjung Menangis or the Wailing Cape. It is located in Halmahera, North Maluku.


This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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