A CROSS-CHANNEL message found on Aldwick beach delighted two brothers.
Ethan and Thomas Short came across the unusual find when they were walking on the foreshore at the end of Dark Lane last Saturday.
Their father, Dominik Short, said: “There was a lot of debris on the beach because of the storms and we saw this bottle.
“At first, I thought there was a candle in it but then I saw there was a piece of paper.
“As soon as Ethan and Thomas realised what it was, they got really excited.
“It was like they had found gold.”
The typed message in French was a poem by surrealist poet Andre Breton about a woman lying on a beach and came with a phone number.
The number turned out to be for a poetry retreat called la Maison de la Poesie de Quimperle some 70 miles away in Brittany.
Mr Short, of Willowhale Avenue, said the retreat’s Bruno Geneste soon replied to his initial contact.
Mr Short said: “The retreat throws seven messages in bottles into the sea and waits to see if they are found.
“This message was put in the sea on September 5.”
Ten-year-old Ethan was so curious he spent last weekend translating the poem and researching Breton on the internet.
“He and Thomas now want to put their own message in a bottle and throw it into the sea,” said Mr Short.
He said the French poem was likely to be framed and hung on a wall at their home as a reminder of the find.