MANCHESTER -- In the Fair family, Claire E. Springett found friends with farm animals -- a fortunate combination.
The 19-year-old, who lives near Cambridge, England, is studying to be a veterinarian's assistant. Miss Springett is staying with Ginny Fair and her two teen-agers for two weeks as part of a 4-H Club exchange program.
At the family's small farm on Old Manchester Road, Miss Springett has had the opportunity to be around a brown Swiss heifer named Chocolate Milk, three horses, four dogs and numerous cats, rabbits and turkeys.
It's been "brilliant," she said, using one of her favorite expressions.
Marti Fair, 17, has been showing Miss Springett around. They've done many of the things teen-agers do in the summer -- eat Big Macs at McDonald's, buy clothes at Cranberry Mall and get knocked over by the waves at Ocean City.
They've also been to cattle and horse shows, a llama farm and a firefighter's carnival. This week, they plan to visit local veterinarians' offices and some friends' farms.
Ben Fair, 16, has been teasing Miss Springett about her accent and uniquely English expressions. She has a 17-year-old brother, Christopher, so she knows how to handle the ribbing.
Miss Springett lives in Comberton, a village outside Cambridge, and belongs to the Comberton Young Farmers, a social and educational group for young men and women age 14 to 26.
The 30-member group meets weekly and brings in guest speakers on topics ranging from flower arranging to race car driving, organizes dances to raise money for charity and participates in sports.
She said she was surprised to have been chosen to make the six-week U.S. trip because she has been a Young Farmers member for only 18 months and was told she didn't speak up enough in the selection interviews.
But won the opportunity for her first plane trip and journey out of England. She's been homesick, but said she has called her parents, Michael and Baryl Springett, and her best friend, Liz Human, to "catch up."
Miss Springett spent two weeks in Hagerstown, Washington County, before coming to Carroll County. She leaves Saturday for a two-week stay in Cumberland, Allegany County.
Even though her visit to Maryland has been a busy one, the pace is slower than her life at home, and she said she has enjoyed it.
In Comberton, Miss Springett keeps a hectic schedule, which includes working full time at a veterinary clinic as part of a two-year training course.
Monday is her only night at home. Tuesday is the Young Farmers meeting, Wednesday aerobics class, Thursday she works late, Friday and Saturday she's out with Miss Human and other friends, and Sunday she's involved in a church youth group.
Miss Springett said she enjoys working most with large animals, such as cows and horses. At home, she has a cat, rabbit and guinea pig.
Ginny Fair said Miss Springett has expressed an interest in returning to the United States to further her studies. She said her two children have enjoyed having "an older sister."
"We'd like to keep her."