Walking Your Chicken in Paris With Style: A Pictorial Guide

A woman named Marguerite with her chicken, Paris, 1956.
Nina Leen—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Not published in LIFE. A woman named Marguerite with her chicken, Paris, 1956.
Animals
'50s

Ah, Paris. The City of Light. The home of Notre-Dame, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Seine, the Marais and countless other celebrated neighborhoods and attractions. Thousands of years old, and yet perfectly modern; a world capital of fashion, cuisine and intellectual pursuits; a city rich in character and in history; the perfect place to walk your pet chicken like a dog.

Wait. What?

Here, apropos of nothing, LIFE.com presents a series of photographs by the incomparable Nina Leen, chronicling the Parisian peregrinations of a woman named Marguerite. We know virtually nothing else about her. Her last name is lost to time. The reasons for her fowl habit are shrouded in mystery. But perhaps her anonymity, and the riddle of her daily, poultry-centric rounds, help explain the appeal of these pictures.

After all, do we really need to know why Marguerite is walking a chicken through the streets and parks of Paris? Can’t we just appreciate eccentricity for its own sake, without getting caught up in explanations, reasons, justifications?

It’s just a woman and her chicken. Walking around together. In Paris. And to be honest, that’s good enough for us.
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