# Get the first element of an array in PHP?

I have an array: array( 4 => 'apple', 7 => 'orange', 13 => 'plum' ) I would like to get the first element of this array. Expected result: <i>string</i> apple One requirement: *it cannot be done with passing by reference*, so array_shift is not a good solution. How can I do this?

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