Peggy Jones hasn’t slept much in the last two weeks. On a hot day in July, as she was doing some lawn work with her husband, Jones says something unbelievable happened to her — a snake fell out of the sky and wrapped its body around her arm. Then, she says, a hawk swooped in and the two animals battled it out, with Jones in the crossfire.
Jones says the freak incident happened on July 25 as she was mowing grass on the property she and her husband own in Silsbee, Texas. “Just mowing the lawn, minding my own business, out of the clear blue sky, a snake fell onto my arm,” she told CBS News. “I assumed there was hawk carrying it because I was not anywhere near a tree.”
Another clue that the snake fell out of a bird’s beak as it was flying: A hawk swooped in next.
“As I was trying to sling my arm and sling the snake off, the snake wrapped around my arm,” she said. “The snake was striking in my face, it struck my glasses a couple of times… I was slinging and slinging, he was striking and striking, and he just kept hanging on.”
Jones was in the back of the property, while her husband was out front. She tried to scream for help, and then she started screaming for Jesus. “I was screaming, ‘Please Jesus, just help me,'” she said tearfully.
“Then the hawk appeared just as fast as the snake appeared,” Jones said. “The hawk grabbed the snake that was wrapped around my arm and pulled it like he was going to carry it away. And when he did, it flung my arm up. The hawk was carrying my arm and the snake with it.”
The hawk couldn’t immediately get the snake detangled from Jones’ arm, she said. It swooped in about four times, its wings flapping around her, causing a bloody brawl. Finally, the snake was released from her arm, and Jones says she ran toward her husband, “hysterical” and covered in blood. Her forearm had been ripped up by the hawk’s talons. Once she reached him, he couldn’t comprehend what she was trying to tell him, she said.
Her husband drove her to Altus Hospital. “There were puncture wounds, cuts, abrasions, scratches and severe bruising,” she said. The snake also dented her glasses as it tried to strike her face.
Jones said she was given antibiotics and, because they were unsure at first if the snake was venomous, she stayed up all night monitoring her wounds. “Not that I could’ve slept anyway,” she said, adding that she doesn’t think the snake bit her and remains unsure what kind of snake it was.
The whole ordeal was traumatic, she said. “I think I went into some kind of survival mode,” she said. “I think the adrenaline took over, and there was one point before the hawk came that I thought, ‘I can’t get rid of this… I’m going to die right here.'”
Two weeks later, Jones’ arm is still bandaged up, and she said it’s not healing as quickly as she hoped.
“I’ve never had a problem sleeping,” Jones said. “But this, I’ve probably gotten seven or eight hours total in the last two weeks.” She said she wakes up panicked, feeling like she just relived the ordeal.
Living in rural Texas, Jone said she’s seen wildlife such as hawks and snakes before – but never like this. “In my lifetime, I’ve actually seen a hawk pick up a snake. That’s something they do, that’s how they kill their prey,” she said. Now, it’s something she’s always going to keep in mind.
Hawks are a type of predatory bird with sharp talons and beaks. They can reach a speed of over 150 mph when diving and are considered to have the best eyesight in the animal world.
They hunt by spotting prey from a high perch and then swooping down, often carrying small animals away. They tend to eat small mammals like rats and rabbits, as well as birds and reptiles, like snakes.