A slightly altered version of mdwyer's tale of the squaw of Sohcahtoa.

A tribe of Native Americans generally referred to their womenfolk by the animal hide with which they made their blankets. Thus, one woman might be known as Squaw of Buffalo Hide, while another may be known as Squaw of Deer Hide. This tribe had a particularly large and strong woman with a unique animal hide for her blanket. She was known as Squaw of Hippopotamus Hide, and she was as strong and powerful as the animal from which she made her blanket.

Each year, she entered the tribal wrestling contest, and easily defeated all challengers, male or female. As the men of the tribe admired her strength and power, this made many of the other women of the tribe quite jealous. So one year, two of them decided to enter their sons into the tournament as a team. The Chief of the tribe agreed.

As luck would have it, the team met the squaw in the final. As the match began, it became clear that the squaw had finally met her match. The two sons wrestled and struggled as much as they could, but they could not bring her down. Likewise, the squaw did not give in, and tried unsuccessfully to become champion again. Finally, the Chief intervened and declared that, in the interests of health and safety, the match was to be terminated and the winner would be decided by himself. With that, he retired to his teepee.

For days, the Chief could not pick a winner. While the two young men had matched the squaw's power, the Chief found it difficult force the squaw to relinquish her championship. After all, it had taken two men to finally provide her with a decent challenge. What to do? Then the Chief remembered Pythagoras, a visitor from Greece who was staying with the tribe for a while. Pythagoras sat down in the Chief's teepee, thinking, and after a few moments, it came to him. He exited the teepee, called the tribe to assembly, and announced his decision:

"The Squaw of the Hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides."

Source: Mensa Maths Wizard for Kids (1998)

By the way, another way to remember SOHCAHTOA would be:

  • Some
  • Old
  • Hairy (or heavy)
  • Cows
  • Are
  • Hairier (or heavier)
  • Than
  • Others
  • Are

Then again, you can also just say to yourself "Soccer-toe-ah."