So it turns out aardvark is not the first word in the dictionary. Not by a long shot. Not THE dictionary, anyway. The OED has several entries preceeding aardvark. I assume most other dictionaries would also have “a”, as in “a word”, as an entry, but the OED has other stuff also, some obsolete, being the OED. Anyhoo, I’ll let the aardvark keep the honour of being top of the list for the time being, since it’s the first creature – South African, in case you didn’t know – in the dictionary (also THE dictionary). Following hot on its heels (possibly also literally, though you’d have to check with a zoologist) is “aardwolf”, also South African (blame the Dutch). So now we know.
Voice in my head: Vera Lynne singing We’ll meet again (blame the husband, it was his farewell tune this morning, except he sang “We’ll meet again, got-a-clue where, got-a-clue when”, whereas Vera is sticking to “don’t know”. She is, however, singing “You’ll muddle through just like you always do”, rather than the more conventional “Keep shining through”, and, if you think about it, it actually makes a lot more sense that way, though it sounds less heroic, I suppose.)