April 21st, 2022: We just finished 3 half-days of the Iowa Assessment tests, so it was time for a break – a trip to Landmark Mercantile in Mesquite.  What’s there? For one, a lot of interesting animals, goats, an ostrich, three emus, a pot-bellied pig, longhorn cattle, guinea fowl, a camel, pygmy goats, donkeys, peacocks, turkeys… animals you just don’t see in our area, even a wide area.  A score of parents, grandparents, and teachers transported our 46 students the 8 easy miles to Mesquite, where we were met by Michelle McClure, co-owner of the Mercantile with her husband, Jason, whom we met shortly. Michelle gave us generously of her time to introduce the animals and their unique characteristics.  She passed around huge emu and ostrich eggs for students to hold… carefully. We all entered the capacious store to peruse saddles, baby chicks, mechanical bulls for roping practice, feeds and animal meds, cowboy hats, and so much more. Michelle and Jason then treated all of us to ice cream cones that we relished outdoors before heading back to the school.  Many, many thanks to them and their staff!

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