Panangokhala (Once upon a time)
Panali mtsikana wina wake (there was a young woman)
Anali pa banja. (who was married)
Tsopano ali ku banja kuja, (Now, in the course of her married life)
Anazayamba kudwala kwambili. (She became very ill)
Kusinthilatu, ngati kuti sanali mkazi wokongola. (And changed, as if she had not been a beautiful woman)
Ndiye anthu mmudzi muja (so the people in the village)
Anamuuza mzibambo uja kuti (advised her husband)
Mkazi wako akudwala kwambili.(Your wife is very ill.)
Ameneyutu atipatsila tonse matenda ake mmudzi muno. (What she has might be catching, and could destroy our society)
Bwanji ukamtaye mnyanja? (Why don’t you throw her into the lake?)
Poti watsalanso pang’ono kufa. (After all, she is about to die).
Mamuna uja anavomela. (The man agreed.)
Ndikukamtaya mkazi wake uja mnyanja. (He threw his wife into the lake.)
Mu nyanja muja, mkazi uja anatoledwa ndi ng’ona. Inamusamalira. Mkazi uja nkuchila. (In the lake, the woman was taken by a crocodile. The crocodile looked after her, and she got well).
Ndiye ng’ona ija inamuuza mkazi uja, amene inamukwatila, kuti, (Then the crocodile told the woman, who he had married,)
Ndikudziwa kuti unazolowera pa mtunda, ndiye ukhoza kumatuluka kukaotha dzuwa. (I know you are used to life on land, but you can go out to bask in the sun any time you want).
Ndiye mkazi uja amakhala mu Nyanja,koma amatuluka kukaotha dzuwa. (So the wife lived in the lake, but would go out to enjoy the sunshine).
Kenako, tsiku lina, anthu ammudzi anamuona. (One day, people in the village saw her)
Basitu nkukanena kwa mamuna wake uja kuti mkazi wako tamuona ife, ndipo akukongola. (Off they went, to tell her husband, ‘ We have seen your wife, and she looks beautiful.’)
Ndiye anthu ammudzi aja, pamodzi ndi mamuma uja, anapita kukamgwira mkazi uja, nkupita naye ku mudzi. (So the people in the village, together with the husband, went and seized the girl, and took her to the village).
Ndiye iwo aja kumudzi anamuuza kuti, ‘Tipanga phwando. Mupanganso banja kachiwiri. Ndiye udzivina.’ (When they got to the village, they said, ‘ We’re going to have a party. You’ll have another wedding with this man. So you need to dance).
Ndiye mkazi uja anayamba kuimba, ‘Ndivine bwanji (And the woman started singing, ‘How can I dance?)
Ndazolowera mnyanja (I’m used to the lake)
Ndine mkazi ng’ona (I’m the crocodile woman).
Ndine mkazi ng’ona.’
Kenako, kunaphikidwa zakudya, chiphwando kuti mkazi uja wapezeka. (So they cooked a lot of food, celebrating the fact that they had found the wife.)
Anthu mkumuuza mkazi uja, Zidya. (They told the wife, “Eat.”)
Iye anangoyambanso kuimba, ‘Ndidye bwanji? (She started singing again, ‘How can I eat?)
Ndazolowera mnyanja ndine mkazi ng’ona. Ndine mkazi ng’ona.’ (I’m used to the lake. I’m the crocodile woman.)
Mbuyo muno, ng’ona dikirani, mkazi wake sazabwela. Kenako ng’ona ija inamva kuimba, inapsya mtima, nkumeza madzi onse a mu nyanja. (Meanwhile, Crocodile waited, there was no sign of his wife. Then he heard the song, lost his temper, and swallowed all the water in the lake).
Ndiye nayonso inayamba kuimba ikulowera ku mudzi kuja. (Then he started singing too)
Wakwata mkazi ng’ona
Mtendere wa nanjiwa
(You’ve married the crocodile woman
Out of sheer jealousy).
Ndiye zimatero, uku mtsikana uja akuimba, (so that’s how it was, the woman would sing)
Ukunso ng’ona iukimba. (And, in the distance, the crocodile was also singing).
Ndiye ng’ona ija poimba imalavula madzi aja. Mudzi uja unakokoloka. Kenako ng’ona ija inamutenga mkazi wake, nkubwelera naye pansi pa Nyanja. (And as Crocodile sang, he was spitting out water. The village was drowned, apart from the young woman. So Crocodile took his wife and went with her, back to the bottom of the lake.)
As recounted by Mrs Catherine Chisale.