It was a colossal case of crossed wires.
When he stopped to beg a drop of water,
I misheard him. His mouth was gummy,
there was a horrible hubbub and my ears
have never been quite right. I thought he asked
for a pair of sandals. (The rhyme’s more clear
in Aramaic.) Well, a poor cobbler
can’t afford to give the work of his hands
away for free, any more than can
a carpenter, and I could see that he
hadn’t far to go before he’d need
no shoes. (Prospects for their speedy return
seemed slim.) So I told the scrawny beggar
to move on with his cross and briars.