How many of you have seen this picture floating around on Facebook? Ever wondered about the real story behind it?
The story that generally accompanies the photo claims a farmer built the oversized table and chairs after a zoning ordinance prevented him from constructing a run-in shed on his property. But since there was no ordinance against building a table and chairs, he was able to skirt the law. Cute story, right?
But it’s not true! Snopes has the full scoop on the real story behind the photograph:
“Photographs of these horses standing in a meadow beneath an outsized table and chairs have been circulating on the Internet since 2003, typically accompanied by the claim that the unusually large furniture was constructed by a farmer as a way of working around a local ordinance that prohibited him from building a shelter for the animals. Although the photographs are real, the claim about the giant furnishings’ having originated as a way of skirting the law is a bit of fiction: the structures were built to serve the dual purpose of providing some shelter for the equines and serving as a visual advertisement for their owner’s business.”
When TIME Magazine printed the photo in 2003, the picture had the following caption: “Three horses try to hide from the rain under an oversized table and chair in a pasture near Doellstaedt, eastern Germany. The huge garden furniture was installed by a local wood merchant to promote his products.”
So there you have it, Horse Nation. The famous table and chairs photo does not show a rebellious farmer’s attempt to provide shelter for his horses. Rather, a German carpenter built the table and chairs to promote his business.