During the period of the warring states in China, the ruler of Qin was almost at his wit’s end after repeated failures to come up with a workable plan to conquer the state of Shu (Sichuan) which was surrounded by mountains in almost every direction.
An advisor by the name of Zhang Yi came to his rescue. Zhang visited the ruler of Shu and presented him with a few gold nuggets, claiming that they were the stools purged by 5 magical cows. Zhang offered to present one of the cows to Shu as a token of friendship between their states.
The ruler of Shu got excited, but Zhang Yi informed him that the cow was as brittle as stone and a smooth road had to be built to ensure its safe transportation. The ruler of Shu immediately ordered the construction of the road.
Once the road was ready for the cow, Qin soldiers marched in and destroyed Shu, bringing it another step closer to unifying China.
The legendary 金牛道 is a tourist attraction today.