The mother ladled what was left of that night's dinner into the container, scraping the pan clean. No sense in wasting food, after all, and the leftovers would make a lovely meal some other day. She set the pan down, fitted the lid over the container of leftovers, and then carefully placed that container on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
The son pushed it to the back of the shelf ten minutes later, while rooting about looking for the last can of Coke.
Nobody gave much thought to the leftovers, not even the mother who had so carefully saved them; and as days turned into weeks, it quietly brooded beneath a package of stale flour tortillas. The life stirring within it went unremarked, its original contents long since forgotten.
At last the tortillas were pushed aside, and the daughter's hand closed upon the plastic container. "Oh, here's something," she said over her shoulder. The leftovers were once more brought out into the light.
"What's in it?" the mother asked from her post at the stove. Pots simmered and bubbled, though the saucepan on one burner yet lay empty.
The daughter peeled back the lid and looked into the container. "Looks like mushroom soup," she replied.
The mother smiled, took the leftovers and their new growth from her daughter, and began preparing them to serve to her family.