Perahaps it is this Dhammapada backstory: http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Suttas/Dha ... -mala.html
There is No Fire Like Lust
There is no fire like lust, no bond like hate,
no net like delusion, no torrent like craving. 251
Five Laymen Listen to Dhamma
Five laymen paid homage to the Buddha, asked him to teach the Dhamma, and sat respectfully at one side. As the Buddha was preaching, one man immediately fell asleep, one man sat digging the earth, another sat shaking a tree, another sat gazing at the sky, but only one was attentive. The Elder Ānanda noticed this as he fanned the Buddha, and asked why some failed to pay attention even when the Buddha was teaching the Dhamma like a thunder-cloud pouring rain. The Buddha said that in many past lives one man had been a snake, so he could never get enough sleep, another had been an earth worm, another had been a monkey, and another had been an astrologer. The man who was attentive had been a scholar of the three vedas. He thus attributed their inattentiveness to their past tendencies. He uttered the above verse showing that it was very hard to escape from lust, hatred, ignorance, and craving.