Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
  • Ratatouille shop, Julien Aurouze and Co.

    A woman looks up at a row of dead rats hanging in the window of a Parisian pest control shop on Rue des Halles in the heart of the city. The unique window display at Julien Aurouze and Co is made from 21 dead rats who have been hanging in the window since 1925, their necks crushed by ferocious steel rat traps.

    The otherwise traditional looking shop, nestled between an artisan boulangerie and a bistro, has been in the pest control business since 1872 and is run today by two grandchildren of the original founder. Rats are a problem in Paris, just as they are everywhere, but the store became a somewhat unlikely tourist attraction after it was featured in the 2007 Pixar animated movie ‘Ratatouille.’

    In the scene the protagonist rat, Remy, is shown the window by his wise old father as a warning to stay away from humans. Looking up at the dead rats he says, “This is what happens when a rat gets a little too comfortable around humans.”

    Staff inside the shop were happy for me to take pictures today. As I framed and focused several shots of the rats, I watched a number of people stop and look at the window with some really great expressions.

    The woman I captured in the picture shown here was walking somewhere when she noticed a couple of people taking pictures of the window, she casually glanced at the window to see what they were photographing, then just stopped dead in her tracks. Her expression is hard to read, but it seems like she’s considering something. I wonder, as she looked at a window full of rat poison, what was on her mind?

    See the shop using Google street view.