Das Mausdorf is on its last slice of cheese.

Also known as the "mouse village," in a preserved area adjacent to Huntington Garden in Schiller Park, it no longer will exist at the end of warm weather.

Doug Alfred and Mike Vorbroker, former German Village residents, are the creators of the miniature community, which was enhanced this year.

Vorbroker built the houses and storefronts out of repurposed wood, and Alfred painted the veneers.

The 19 buildings, Schiller statue and other replica features were meant to evoke the architectural nature of the village.

It features such landmarks as the Book Loft, Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant and Saint Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church.

Little mice figurines are selectively placed throughout the tiny village. Some have gone missing, likely the work of children who wanted a souvenir, the men said.

Das Mausdorf is surrounded by a fence and adorned with decorative landscaping. A plaque with a bell attached hangs above on a tree trunk.

"It's a lot of fun," Alfred said. "We have enjoyed it. The neighbors have enjoyed it. It's just another reason to visit Schiller."

Now they're ready to pass the torch to other imaginative denizens in the area.

"We're interested in a creative person to step in with a good idea for next year," Alfred said.

A fairy village was the first concept to occupy the small plot of land, located between two trees. The theme changed last year with the mouse village, which was refreshed this year with additional pieces.

Alfred and Vorbroker, who live in Merion Village, formerly were neighbors of Bert Stevens, coordinator of Huntington Garden. Stevens talked the men into creating an exhibit for the patch of land, Alfred said.

"She thought we were crafty," he said. "She asked if we'd be interested in doing anything here."

Stevens said the mouse village will be missed.

"I think they love it," she said of the community.

"One woman wants us to move the bell out because her son wants to ring the bell every day."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary