[This is a folk tale]
Now, this is a major part of the Malacca history but no, it’s not about boring dates and unfathomable facts and bizarre ancient names, no. In fact, this is an interesting tale of how Malacca got its name.
Jungle. This was where it all began….and yes, you guessed right, the King and his followers were out hunting that day. People in the past were good with swords and archery and stuff we consider cool today, never mind the King himself. He was a skilled archer, but he had spears with him that day.
The King released his dogs and began the hunt with his followers, aiming arrows or spears at the deer in the jungle every now and then, but no luck. The deer in that jungle were all particularly agile and smart.
Tired to the bones, the King dragged himself towards a running river and slumped down, resting his back against a tall tree nearby. He tossed his spears down, breathing hard.
Just when the silence was beginning to stretch, a loud barking sound was heard. The King jumped to his feet, a spear in his hand, waiting for the prey to come into view. Galloping sound. Barks. Galloping nearer. Louder barks. But still, nothing dashed out of the bushes like he expected.
His followers were hurrying up behind him, eyes alert, bows and arrows ready. They waited. And waited. Then it came. A deer leaped its way out of the bush suddenly and landed gracefully at the brink of the river. The King and his followers were taken aback slightly, arrows and spears forgotten. It was a beautiful white deer. And the way it bounced around was somehow entrancingly elegant.
The dog scrambled hastily out of the bush and started barking real loud at the prey in front, yet not daring to move forward. The deer was obviously very agile. The deer was still hovering at the edge of the stream, but it had this cautious stance.
Finally brave enough, the dog pounded forward. The King and his followers were frozen watching the drama unfold. Agile as it was, the deer reared and kicked its attacker with its forelegs, sending the dog into the river.
The King and his men were speechless for a moment, still glaring at the deer. Apparently happy, the deer bounced around before leaping across the undergrowth and back to the depth of the jungle.
“The deer here are definitely brave and clever,” the King remarked thoughtfully. His eyes still on the spot where the deer just disappeared, the King asked his men, “What’s the name of this tree?” he patted the trunk behind, still not looking back.
“It’s the Malacca tree, your Majesty,” one of the men answered.
And….yes, you guessed right again, the King then decided to establish a kingdom there and name it Malacca, signifying courage and intelligence.