[Translated from Armenian] When the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite, the whole world was on scared about the type of technology the country had. One day the Armenian general heard that Turkish forces were planning some kind of attack on the Armenian border (which was a part of the USSR). The area have enough troops stationed there, and reinforcements would have taken days to arrive. Armenian is known for its mountains, and the general had the idea to strap a donkey with a bunch of flashlights and use it as a way to trick the Turks. That night, soldiers taped a bunch of flashlights on a donkey, and kicks the donkey in the rear on top of a mountain near the border. The donkey started running down the mountain kicking around from being startled, which made the flashlights swing around everywhere. The Turkish forces at the bottom of the mountain see something unusual approaching them. Not knowing what it was, they feared it was some sort of advanced Soviet war laser and retreated from the border, not realizing it was just a donkey.
Context: This was story the informant heard from his father, who heard during his time in soviet army
Analysis: This story parallels a Persian war story I have collected (see Nader Shah – 10,000 Goats), however this version takes place hundreds of years after the Iranian one. In both versions animals (goats/donkey) were used to outsmart and scare enemy forces from an attack using elements of light (fire/flashlights) in dark settings. Being that Iran and Armenia are neighbors, it is not unlikely a story like this would be shared between cultures and adapted for their own use. Initially I believed the Armenian version was possibly true, because it sounded plausible and I was biased. But, having heard two different variants of a similar plot, I’m dubious as to whether the events in either legend are true.