You've made a sensible decision,
joining these ranks of stomped-on stand-in's.
I'll be your Virgil and guide you through
the ropes too often learned at lashing.
Don't overlook the import of choosing
proper cause and duly sainted miens.
Be better judge of princely nature,
for when he does stray, it's you we'll hurt.
The world has no shortage of pricks, and
to keep the knife at bay, befriend him
you must, lest he misbehaves solely
for the pleasure of watching you writhe.
If it comes to that, all you'll have left
is to pray, he meets an untimely end,
and loads your back with shuffled-off cares
to scape back to the wilds whence you came.
It's Day 24 of NaPoWriMo and the prompt from ReadWritePoem is find a phrase, exploring the origins of a common saying. For my phrase, I chose Whipping Boy, which derives from the once-royal practice of keeping a boy at court to beat whenever their prince misbehaved.