Nader Shah – 10,000 Goats

Nader Shah was a very powerful Persian ruler… One day heard news that a large number of enemy forces were preparing to attack one of towns. He knew he couldn’t get enough troops over there in time. So that night, he ordered all the farmers to gather 10,000 goats. He then had the farmers light their livestock’s horns on fire and direct them toward the enemy forces. The attackers saw from distance what seemed like a massive army approaching their camp, but they didn’t realize that it was just a bunch of goats. Fearing for their lives, they ran away, and the town was saved.

Context: Informant was born in Iran, and insists this story was an actual historical event.

Analysis: This story parallels another Armenian war story  I have heard (see Armenian Donkey Laser), although this version takes place hundreds of years before the other one. In both versions different animals motifs (goats/donkey) were used to outsmart and scare enemy forces from an attack using light motifs (fire/flashlights). 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.