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The water god of Eridu, Enki was a creator deity, who provided Dilmun, the garden of Paradise wherein all dwelt in harmony, and sickness and death was unknown. The only thing lacking was sweet water, which Enki provided by his union with the earth mother. A quarrel arose, however, when Enki devoured eight plants grown by Ninhursaga. She pronounced on him the curse of death, which took its toll, sickness attacking eight parts of his body. The other gods were aghast, and Enlil was powerless to arrest the disease. All seemed lost, until the fox offered to bring Ninhursanaga back to Dilmun, providing there was suitable reward. This happened and the earth mother created eight deities to heal her consort's afflictions.

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