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    Once a possum came to understand how difficult it is to appear dim.
    It wasn’t enough to move slowly and look dopish much of the day. The possum’s mastery of the night was well known and prompted not a few to lament the fact that it didn’t show more of its nimble command when the sun was out as well.
    “Think of the brilliant career you could have in politics or as a tycoon if you just applied yourself more!” it was typically urged.
    “Now, why would I want a brilliant career in politics or as a tycoon?” the possum just as typically responded with a yawn. 
    “What a question! Wasting talents like yours, nobody should do that.”
    “Nobody?” asked the possum, its yawn widening.
    “Nobody who’s interested in leaving a mark on the world.”
    The possum closed one eye and then the other, as if forcing itself to take on an unwelcome task, and inquired, “And what mark might that be?”
    “Why, some proof you’ve counted in the eyes of the world, that you aren’t simply an anonymous bystander to the grand march of time.”
    “Would that be so bad?”
    “If the slightest effort could bring you fame and fortune, it is.”
    “Fame and fortune, those should be my goals?”
    “‘When in Rome . . .’” 
    Waiting for the possum to acknowledge the aptness of this repost left many checking their watches and others wondering if it hadn’t in fact drifted off to sleep. Unaccustomed to being so utterly ignored, they sat around clearing their throats with increasing force and ultimately, given the continued lack of response, addressed one another directly in voices they trusted were loud enough to penetrate even the deepest slumber.
    “Isn’t it a shame to see such lack of ambition?”
    “Particularly when the path to success beckons so brightly.”
    “And when virtually no effort at all can bring one a life of great influence, wealth, and prestige.” 
    “But what do you have to give up to claim those rewards,” the possum murmured, taking the speakers by sur-prise.
    “Surely it’s worth it, whatever it is.”
    “Including your very self if required?”
    “Come, come, you exaggerate. And even if you didn’t, take a pragmatic view. Only a fool would hide the brains you were born with when merely appearing smart might be all that’s asked!”
    “Merely appearing smart is easy. It’s being smart that is hard,” the possum sighed, now opening both eyes fully. “But being a fool, that’s much harder still.”