Hjal and Thord went together into a field in which a goat had been seen, which none could drive away. All at once Thord exclaimed, "This is very strange." "What do you see that is strange?" asked Njal. "I see," answered Thord, "the goat lying drenched in blood." Njal replied, "That is no goat, it is something else." "What is it, then?" asked Thord. "Look out for yourself," said Njal; "you are fey and that is your following spirit."
The fylgjar come into the world in the caul of a newborn child. If this caul be burnt or thrown away, the man has lost his guardian spirit for his life. In Norway a departing guest is always attended to the door, to make sure that the valve is kept open long enough to allow the spirit to pass out after the man.
In Germany the Companion Spirit is called Jüdel, or Gütel, and when a child laughs in sleep it is said the Jüdel is playing with him. If the guardian spirit keeps the child restless, something is given to it to distract its attention from its little ward.
The idea of the Companion Spirit has been christianised into that of the Guardian Angel. St Bernard says in one of his sermons:
"Whenever you perceive that you are sorely tempted,